Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins (Facts on File Library of Language and Literature Series) / Edition 3

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Updated and expanded, The Facts On File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, Third Edition features definitions and origins of more than 12,500 words and expressions, making it the most comprehensive single-volume reference of its kind. This collection traces the development of slang words, proverbs, animal and plant names, place-names, nicknames, historical expressions, foreign-language expressions, and phrases from literature. With approximately 3,500 new entries, ranging from "Axis of Evil" to "Zoot Suit Riots," this comprehensive and authoritative encyclopedia engages word lovers and researchers and serves as an invaluable reference tool for all students of language and literature.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is a collection of stories, speculative though entertaining, behind 7500 English words and phrases, from A & P through babushka, Calvinism, Davy Crockett, eggs Benedict, fifty-four forty or fight, German measles, and many more to ZZZ. The stories are fascinating, but the book is marred by many misspellings, particularly in the quotations from German. Still, it will appeal to word buffs and hence should be of interest to public libraries. Scholars will probably continue to rely on the OED and other standard reference works. Catherine von Schon, SUNY at Stony Brook
Library Journal
This reference work on the history, origin, and current meaning of common words and phrases is organized from A to Z with short, definition-style entries. Approximately 3500 new entries have been added since the 2000 edition, bringing the total up to 12,500. Encompassing a wide range of people, places, and activities, the words and phrases included range from "the American dream," "Kodak," and "tadpole" to "Let's roll!"-the phrase made famous by Todd Beamer on 9/11. Each entry provides details on the etymological origin of a word or a phrase, retells stories about where it may first have been spoken, and explains its evolution over time. Hendrickson, who has authored a number of books for the publisher, rightly points out in the preface that this work is subjective, as much of its content is speculative or based on his opinion. While this makes the book more interesting, it also makes it less like a reference source, which should provide concrete facts. In addition, the author may have chosen to exclude appropriate words/phrases missing because he did not find their histories sufficiently dramatic. Similar to books like Why Do We Say It and any of the numerous dictionaries of word origins, this work will be most appreciated by historians, researchers, and crossword puzzle enthusiasts and is appropriate for all types of libraries.-Jaime Anderson, Cty. of Henrico P.L., VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Expanded and revised to 15,000 entries<-->roughly triple the greatest number in any previous collection of its kind. An effort has been made to illustrate all the many ways words and phrases are born (words deriving from the numerous languages and dialects that have enriched English, echoic words, coined words, slang, words from the names of places, people, animals, occupations, leisure activities, mispronuciations, etc.) An index has been added to help readers find people, categories, information, and anecdotes difficult to locate when just alphabetized entries are available. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Midwest Book Review
...provides a winner to any who want a comprehensive coverage more in-depth than most casual lay treatments.
Praise for the hardcover edition: "...language lovers will romp among its pages with as much excitement as a cat rolling in catnip."
Rettig on Reference
William Safire
A feast for phrase detectives...that will enliven debates and illuminate issues.
The New York Times Magazine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816048137
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2003
  • Series: Writers Reference
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 822
  • Age range: 11 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.14 (h) x 1.80 (d)

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