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Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology
Terry F. Hoad
0192830988
January 1993
Paperback
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From Library Journal
C.T. Onions's Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology (Oxford, rev. 1969, $45) is the source of this compact version, and for the most part the reductions are carefully chosen, as in eliminating the pronunciations of common words and technical terms. But this work is abridged: e.g., over two former pages, between dickens and dignity, entries for dictaphone, dies non , and dight have been deleted, and these deletions are representative. Secondary information has also been cut from individual entries. The result is a handy and compact desktop reference book, well printed and bound as expected from the Clarendon Press. However, both the original, and Ernest Klein's Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Lanaguage (Elsevier, 1971, $85) are in print, and larger libraries should have them as well. Stephen H....


Word Fugitives : In Pursuit of Wanted Words

0060832738


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Francine Prose, author of A Changed Man and Blue Angel
"Barbara Wallraff proves herself to be a wise, witty, and marvelously entertaining guide through the jungle of English usage."

James Fallows, National Magaazine Award-winning correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly
"There is a discovery and a smile on every page."

See all Editorial Reviews


Red Herrings and White Elephants : The Origins of the Phrases We Use Every Day

0060843373


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Knutsford Guardian (UK)
"Amusing and informative...[takes] you on a trip through the most fascinating and richest regions of the English language."

Book Description

Mad hatter . . . pie in the sky . . . egg on your face. We use these phrases every day, yet how many of us know what they really mean or where they came from?

From bringing home the bacon to leaving no stone unturned, the English language is peppered with hundreds of common idioms borrowed from ancient traditions and civilizations throughout the world. In Red Herrings and White Elephants, Albert Jack has uncovered the amazing and sometimes downright bizarre stories behind many of our most familiar and eccentric modes of expression:

If you happen to be a bootlegger, your profession recalls...



Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology
Robert K. Barnhart
0062700847
October 1995
Hardcover
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-- American Library Association Reference Books Bulletin
"[A] combination of readability with scholarship...of exceptional quality..."

-- Language
"In quantitative terms--number of entries and fullness of treatment--the Barnhart dictionary appears to be the best etymological work now availablle."

See all Editorial Reviews


Grammar in Use Intermediate With answers : Self-study Reference and Practice for Students of English (Grammar in Use)
Raymond Murphy, William R. Smalzer
052162598X
August 15, 2000
Paperback
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Book Description
Grammar in Use Intermediate is a highly successful grammar text known for its clear explanations and innovative format. Each unit in the Student's Book is a two-page spread that teaches a specific grammar point on the left-hand page, and provides practice exercises on the right. A unique combination of reference grammar and practice book, this book can be used as a classroom text or for self-study. The new edition includes an Audio CD and nine units of new material. Two entirely new sections have also been added: Additional Exercises, which give students the opportunity to consolidate what they have learned; and the Study Guide, which helps students figure out which units they need to study. An answer key is now included in the back of the book. An edition without answers is also available. Grammar in Use...


Chambers Dictionary of Etymology
Larousse Kingfisher Chambers
0550142304
September 1999
Hardcover
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Book Description
How are the words 'door' German 'Tr' and Sanskrit 'dvar' related? When did the word Blarney first appear in print? What's the linguistic history of the word 'history'? The Chambers Etymological Dictionary holds all the answers for any person curious about the origins of the words they use, and how these words have changed over time. This fascinating dictionary explores the development of meaning, spelling, and pronunciation of over 25,000 English words. Over 30,000 detailed entries trace words back to their Proto-Germanic or Indo-European roots, and include words borrowed from other languages, as well as the sources and dates of their first recorded use. For many years academics, wordsmiths, crossword lovers, and language enthusiasts of all stripes have turned to this celebrated volume as their reference of...


In Other Words
Christopher J. Moore
0802714447
Oct 2004
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Translation is tricky, especially when the language belongs to a people whose culture is very different from one's own. In this short but enthusiastic book, Moore, a linguist, selects from languages across the world words and phrases that are impossible to translate neatly into English. In many cases, the difficulty arises because our culture simply doesn't share the same experiences as others. For instance, the Cantonese word gagung literally means "bare sticks," but represents the growing group of men who will not be able to find a wife because China's one-child policy, and desire for sons, has reduced the proportion of women. Other untranslatable words are those used for a feeling or situation that English only describes in a roundabout way, such as the indigenous word from Tierra del Fuego, mamihlapinatapei,...


Webster's Dictionary of Word Origins
Editors of Merriam-Webster
0760755434
July 2004
Hardcover
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Samuel Johnson's Dictionary
Jack Lynch
0802714218
March 1, 2004
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Here is a real treat for word lovers: 3,100 selections from Dr. Johnson's historic dictionary, with definitions, etymologies and usage illustrations. To buss is charmingly defined as "To kiss; to salute with the lips." And laced mutton, readers learn, is "an old word for a whore." The excerpts from the dictionary itself are complemented by the inclusion of Johnson's earlier "Plan of a Dictionary" ("of all the candidates for literary praise, the unhappy lexicographer holds the lowest place," he opines) and three appendixes: one of Shakesperean citations in the dictionary, one of additional literary citations and a third of "piquant terms." ("Ape: A kind of monkey remarkable for imitating what he sees.") In his introduction, Lynch, a Rutgers University Johnson scholar, dispels the myth that this was the first...


Dictionary of Word Origins
Jordan Almond
0806517131
Dec 1995
Paperback
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From the Back Cover
Answering the age-old question, "Why do we say it?" this handy dictionary gives the intriguing origins of hundreds of everyday words and expressions. How did lollipops get their name? (In the northern part of England, "lolly" means "tongue.") What is "long" doing in the word "longshoreman"? (When ships were unloaded, the sailors passed the goods from their ships to the men 'long the shore.) Why do we pass the buck? (In an old English card game, one would pass a jackknife, or "buck," to show whose turn it was to chip in.) Useful for reference and fun just for browsing, Dictionary of Word Origins is also a great way to expand vocabulary and enjoy doing it. Jordan Almond is professor emeritus of English at Farmdale University. He lives in Westchester, New York.


100 Words Every Word Lover Should Know
American Heritage
0618551468
April 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
The newest title in the popular 100 Words series, 100 Words Every Word Lover Should Know is the perfect book for people who enjoy reading about words that have absorbing histories, intriguing coinages, surprising but useful meanings, or have been used by famous writers throughout the history of English.Many of these 100 words are accompanied by notes that explain in detail the path the word has undertaken in its journey to its current meaning, providing useful etymological information about how the usage of a word develops over time. Additionally, 100 Words Every Word Lover Should Know features scores of quotations from classical and contemporary authors, from Henry James and Jane Austen to Sylvia Plath and William Golding, Douglas Coupland and Donna Tartt. A great gift for anyone who appreciates the beauty, history,...


The New Joys of Yiddish
Leo Calvin Rosten
0609806920
Aug 2003
(Paperback) - Revised Ed.
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From Library Journal
On the other hand, the revised edition of Rosten's 1968 The Joys of Yiddish, now the de facto standard reference on this topic, is designed as a lexicon of Yiddish words and phrases that have been, are becoming, or should be incorporated into the English language. The work explores the nuances and complexities of language, clarifying the interrelationship between Yiddish and English (Yinglish, according to Rosten). The lengthy alphabetical listing not only presents multiple spellings, pronunciation guides, definitions, and cross references but also illustrates usage with background information, anecdotes, and jokes, as well as breezy erudition in the form of tidbits of cultural history, Talmudic and biblical references, tips on pronunciation, and thoughtful commentary. These illustrations demonstrate...


Words Their Way : Letter and Picture Sorts for Emergent Spellers
Donald R. Bear, et al
0131135910
January 18, 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
 This book provides teachers with concept sorting ideas followed by picture sorts for developing phonemic awareness, alphabet knowledge, letter recognition and concept of words in print.  This companion volume augments that content with numerous reproducible sorts that specifically address the needs of the syllables and affixes speller. Accompanying the sorts are step-by-step directions for guiding pupils through the sorting lessons, as well as follow-up activities and tips for using the sorts to their best advantage. Designed for elementary educators' use as part of a reading curriculum where emergent spelling is covered.


Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten
Jeffrey Kacirk
0743269675
August 2004
Hardcover
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The Story of English
Robert McCrum
0142002313
Dec 2002
(Paperback) - Revised Ed.
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From Library Journal
A tie-in for a nine-part television series to be broadcast over PBS beginning in September, this is a wide-ranging account of the travels and changes of the English tongue from its beginnings to tomorrow, from England to America to Australia to Africa and India and the Pacific. Despite an occasionally perceptible British bias, the authors have tried hard to paint a colorful, vivid picture of the many faces and varieties of English. The text is never dull, but is enlivened by innumerable examples and by interviews with representative individuals: a minister in Scotland, a couple from the Appalachians, a storekeeper in Newfoundland, a Philadelphia shoeshine man, a cockney fruitseller, an Australian farm family, the president of Sierra Leone, a writing professor in India. A readable book that all public libraries...


Surnames of Scotland : Their Origin, Meaning and History
George F. Black
0871041723

Hardcover
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Guide to Reference Books, 9th ed. (Chicago: American Library Association
A monumental work giving origin, meaning, and history of Scottish surnames from the earliest times, references to sources--Eugene P. Sheehy

Times Literary Suppliment (London)
Details of the names are drawn from official or other accredited sources, which are duly referred to and catalogued.

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The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
Simon Winchester
0060839783
July 2005
Paperback
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Book Review
When the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary put out a call during the late 19th century pleading for "men of letters" to provide help with their mammoth undertaking, hundreds of responses came forth. Some helpers, like Dr. W.C. Minor, provided literally thousands of entries to the editors. But Minor, an American expatriate in England and a Civil War veteran, was actually a certified lunatic who turned in his dictionary entries from the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. Simon Winchester has produced a mesmerizing coda to the deeply troubled Minor's life, a life that in one sense began with the senseless murder of an innocent British brewery worker that the deluded Minor believed was an assassin sent by one of his numerous "enemies."

Winchester also paints a rich portrait of the OED's leading...



Dictionary of Word Origins : Histories of More Than 8,000 English-Language Words
John Ayto
1559702141
November 23, 1993
Paperback
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Book Review
Learn about the hidden and often surprising histories of and connections between English words and their non-English ancestors. Perhaps the best inexpensive etymological dictionary available today.

From Library Journal
An alphabetical listing of some 8000 English words with their histories, this book omits other dictionary features such as pronunciation, part of speech, and, in most cases, definitions. It is interesting to explore the sometimes surprising groups of related words; under doctor , for example, we are referred to 11 other entries, ranging from dainty to paradox . The date of a word's first appearance in the language is indicated by century or by "OE" for Old English. The author is English, so Americans will miss some typically American words such as raccoon , ranch , or...


Why You Say It
Webb B. Garrison
1558531289
Nov 1992
Paperback
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Book Description

The Fascinating stories behind over 600 everyday words and phrases such as... Shindig - A veteran square dance caller will tell you that bruised shins result from the swigging feet of beginning dancers. A dance that leaves telltale marks on the lower legs of participants is a shindig.

Alibi - The word is taken straight from Latin and means "elsewhere." The perfect "alibi" is to prove one was "elsewhere" when the deed was done.

And many more...



The World in a Phrase : A History of Aphorisms
James Geary
1582344302
November 2, 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
It's not a stretch to say Geary is obsessed with aphorisms. Ever since discovering the literary form in the "Quotable Quotes" section of Reader's Digest when he was a child, he has been compiling them. Given his level of passion, it's fitting that he has penned what is probably the definitive work on aphorisms, a love letter– cum–memoir disguised as a reference book. It also explains why he occasionally gets so carried away that he describes Nietzsche as "the Evil [sic] Knievel of nineteenth-century philosophy" and Frenchman Joseph Joubert as "the great apostle of the aphorism." But Geary, deputy editor of the European edition of Time magazine, is also a veteran newsman, and for the most part he tones down the hype. He provides a useful definition—an aphorism is brief, definitive, personal,...


Word Histories and Mysteries
Houghton Mifflin Company
0618454500
Oct 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
English-speakers, especially Americans, are sometimes criticized because so many speak only one language, but in truth, English is a tongue composed of many others. Probably no one knows this better than those for whom etymology is their livelihood, such as these dictionary editors, and they draw on their collective experience of hunting down word origins, whether historical or linguistic, to produce this entertaining volume. Even those who aren’t wordy types may wonder where words like "namby-pamby," "milquetoast" and "hamburger" came from, and the explanations don’t disappoint: poet Henry Carey first coined the term "namby-pamby" to make fun of 18th-century poet Ambrose Philips ("amby" standing for Ambrose); "milquetoast" derives from an English comic strip depicting a timid, retiring man named after...


Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
Donald J. Borror
0874840538
January 1960
Textbook Paperback
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Two Thousand One Hundred-Seven Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions
Charles Earle Funk
0883658453
September 1993
Hardcover
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What in the Word
Charles Harrington Elster
0156031973
Nov 2005
Paperback
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School–Each chapter of this enjoyable book features original brainteasers, challenging puzzles, and a trove of literary trivia. Readers will glean the meaning behind pushing the envelope and be informed that the phrase happy as a clam is an abbreviation of the simile happy as a clam at high tide. Those looking for that perfect word to describe something unique will find it here. Elster uses a lively question-and-answer format to cover a variety of topics–word and phrase origins, slang, style, usage, punctuation, and pronunciation. Without an index, this volume is not an ideal reference work, but it makes for good casual reading.–Erin Dennington, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights...


Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things
Charles Panati
0060964197
September 1989
Paperback
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Book Description
For lovers of facts, students of popular culture, history buffs, and science enthusiasts, the fascinating stories behind 500 everyday items, expressions, and customs--from Kleenex to steak sauce, Barbie Dolls to honeymoons.


English Vocabulary Quick Reference: A Dictionary Arranged by Word Roots
Roger S. Crutchfield
0965913805
September 1998
Hardcover
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Book Review
English Vocabulary Quick Reference takes an innovative approach to word roots. To start with, there's the "Primary Root Index"--a list of 260 essential word roots (including prefixes and suffixes), with definitions, language origin (Latin or Greek), and the dictionary page number where it's featured. It's a handy, easily accessible "a-" to "zyg-" list, but the unusual quality of the reference lies in its dictionary. Color-coded (red for common words such as are likely to appear on SATs, blue keywords to highlight succinct definitions), the dictionary presents more than 7,000 words based on those roots. From "abiogenesis" to "zygote," etymologies and definitions elucidate each word and encourage an understanding of the basic roots. This section is followed by a reverse...


Words Their Way : Words Sorts for Derivational Relations Spellers
Francine Johnston, et al
0131718126
February 7, 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
Provided for advanced readers and writers, this companion volume provides teachers with prepared reproducible sorts and step-by-step directions to guide students through the sorting lessons.    This companion volume focuses on spelling and vocabulary knowledge that grow primarily through processes of derivation.  Designed for elementary educators' use as part of a reading curriculum where derivational relations is covered.

Card catalog description
A guide to choosing an occupation.


Best Baby Name Book In The Whole World
Bruce Lansky
0671544632
October 18, 1984
Paperback
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Book Description
More Names, More Up-To-Date, More Helpful And More Fun Than Any Other Baby Name Book! * over 13,001 boys' and girls' names, nicknames and variations * origins, meanings, and famous namesakes * the most popular names In the US. and around the world * advice from "Dear Abby" * 15 steps to selecting the right name for your baby * psychological stereotypes of popular names * how to change names and famous people who did * current baby naming trends * fascinating facts about names * how to make the best final decision on your baby's name!

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