Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins

Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins

Book - 2010
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Blackwell Publishing
Did you know that babble is literally baby talk? Or that people used to love bullies? The Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins describes the genesis and development of thousands of words and phrases in the English language, unveiling the stories behind many of our most curious expressions. This engrossing volume is an illuminating read for anyone interested in the English language.

`A treasure (from the Greem `thesauros', treasure, store or storehouse) Trove (past participle of an Anglo-Norman verb meaning `to find') of verbal wonders.'

Oxford University Press
Combining both accessibility and authority, The Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins describes the origins and development of over 3,000 words and phrases in the English language. The book draws on Oxford's unrivalled dictionary research program and language monitoring, and relates the fascinating stories behind many of our most curious terms and expressions in order to offer the reader a much more detailed explanation than can be found in a general English dictionary.

Organized A-Z, the entries include first known use along with examples that illustrate the many faces of the particular word or phrase, from 'handsome' to 'bachelor' and 'cute' to 'baby', from 'pagan' to 'palaver' and 'toff' to 'torpedo'. Also featured are almost 20 special panels that cover expressions common in English but drawn from other languages, such as 'coffee', 'sugar', and 'candy' from Arabic or 'booze', 'brandy', and 'gin' (Dutch).

This absorbing volume is useful for language students and enthusiasts, but also an intriguing read for any person interested in the development of the English language and of language development in general. It also includes an extended introduction on the history of the English language.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press, c2010
Edition: 2nd ed., pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780199547937
Characteristics: x, 502 p. ; 20 cm


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