Eat Your Words!: A Fascinating Look at the Language of Food

Overview

Baked Alaska, melba toast, hush puppies, and coconuts. You'd be surprised at how these food names came to be. And have you ever wondered why we use the expression "selling like hotcakes"? Or how about "spill the beans"? There are many fascinating and funny stories about the language of food—and the food hidden in our language! Charlotte Foltz Jones has compiled a feast of her favorite anecdotes, and John O'Brien's delightfully pun-filled drawings provide the dessert. Bon ...
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Eat Your Words

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Overview

Baked Alaska, melba toast, hush puppies, and coconuts. You'd be surprised at how these food names came to be. And have you ever wondered why we use the expression "selling like hotcakes"? Or how about "spill the beans"? There are many fascinating and funny stories about the language of food—and the food hidden in our language! Charlotte Foltz Jones has compiled a feast of her favorite anecdotes, and John O'Brien's delightfully pun-filled drawings provide the dessert. Bon appetit!

Discusses the history and meaning of all kinds of food-related words and phrases and describes customs and beliefs about various foods.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This compilation of foodrelated phrases, trivia and thoughts is indeed "A Fascinating Look at the Language of Food." While offering the history of certain dishes and how they were named, the author goes beyond the obvious and includes unusual tidbits of information, including the fact that there is actually no living fish known as a sardine. Only after fish are packed in the sardine can are they called sardines. Young readers will probably most enjoy the section titled, "Laws of the Food Police" which lists laws which have been in effect at some period of our history. Perhaps the silliest law was passed in Lexington, Kentucky where it was against the law to carry an ice cream cone in your pocket. One is left to wonder why it was a crime in Idaho to give your sweetheart a box of candy weighting less than fifty pounds and why it was illegal in Green, New York to eat peanuts and walk backward on the sidewalk while a concert was playing. Also explained are how such phrases as "spill the beans" and "top banana" came about. This is an interesting book containing an extensive bibliography. 1999, Delacorte Press/Random House, Ages 8 to 12, $10.95. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
KLIATT
Our entire culture is replete with food—it is in our laws, money, superstitions, celebrations and our language. This easy-to-read book is about the history of food-related words and phrases and the origin of various recipes. Often the stories behind many widely used expressions to do with food offer a glimpse into the history of our country. This is an entertaining read that fits in nicely with the basic family and consumer education classes that are offered in most middle and high schools. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1999, Random House/Delacorte, 87p, illus, bibliog, index, 21cm, $10.95. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Shirley Reis; IMC Dir., Lake Shore M.S., Mequon, WI, March 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 2)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-After an introduction to the importance of food in our culture, Jones takes readers on a tour of gastronomical words and phrases. The first three chapters describe dishes with people's names (eggs Benedict), those named after places (Buffalo wings), and "Four-Legged Foods" that contain the names of animals (horseradish). "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry" looks at the etymology behind treats associated with parties and fun (canap s), while "What's in That Shopping Cart" does the same for a random sampling of groceries (eggplant, marmalade, po' boys). Phrases such as "couch potato" and "eat humble pie" are described in a chapter on favorite sayings. Jones also examines words that don't seem to deal with eating at all, but have food hidden in their histories (parasite comes from parasitos, Greek for "guests at a meal"). "Food for Thought" sections present fascinating trivia ranging from silly laws about edibles to food-related rituals. Appropriately, the author finishes with a history of the toothpick. The layout and accessible writing style make this book easy to understand and interesting to read. It is filled with anecdotes and amusing illustrations. This is a great title for browsing, and youngsters will want to share these stories with their friends.-Linda Wadleigh, Oconee County Middle School, Watkinsville, GA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An entertaining and informative presentation of all sorts of tidbits concerning the history and meaning of food-related words. Jones (Accidents May Happen, 1996, etc.) humorously relates how certain foods—beef Stroganoff, Caesar salad, eggs Benedict, etc.—obtained their names. Included are foods named for places, places named for foods, the origins of favorite terms and phrases, such as "a baker's dozen," "bring home the bacon," "corny," "couch potato," "sell like hotcakes," "spill the beans," and more. O'Brien is once again Jones's collaborator, providing sophisticated black-and-white cartoons that enhance the humor of this collection of tongue-in-cheek, entertaining anecdotes for gastronomists and trivia buffs alike. (bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385325783
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/29/2000
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 930L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.94 (w) x 7.94 (h) x 0.29 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlotte Foltz Jones is the author of Mistakes That Worked, Accidents May Happen, and Fingerprints and Talking Bones.

John O'Brien is well known for his New Yorker cartoons as well as his numerous children's book credits, including Mistakes That Worked, Accidents May Happen, and Mother Hubbard's Christmas.

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