Did you know that coconut derives from the Spanish and Portuguese coco for 'grinning face'? Or that giraffes used to be called camelopards? Or that walrus has its origin in Dutch, meaning 'whale horse'.The Little Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins includes 1,000 word histories arranged across 100 wide-ranging themes, from food to phobias, from the universe to love. Featuring words with interesting or surprising origins, it is an irresistible collection of word histories, including dates of origin and an authoritative account of each word's derivation. Beautifully produced and attractively designed, this fascinating volume is a pleasure to browse. It also features a useful index so you can quickly find just the word you are looking for. It is the perfect gift for word lovers and for anyone with an interest in the English language.Readership: Anyone with an interest in words and their origins and in the richness of the English language.
The average contemporary English speaker knows 50,000 words. Yet stripped down to its origins, this apparently huge vocabulary is in reality much smaller, derived from Latin, French and the Germanic languages. It is estimated that every year, 800 neologisms are added to the English language: acronyms (nimby), blended words (motel), and those taken from foreign languages (savoir-faire). Word Originsprovides a concise history of over 8,000 of the most commonly used words. The range of information spans from derivations as simple as 'a' and 'one' from 'an', to the most obscure lexical relations. For instance 'vice', with its several uses in English (a wickedness, a holding tool), is derived via Old French from two separate Latin words: 'vitium' (defect, offence), and 'vitis' (vine) which gave 'viticulture'. Bloomsbury's Word Originsdemonstrates how the diverse influences on English have given rise to some unlikely but fascinating lexical relations. Laid out in an A-Z format with detailed cross references, and written in a style that is both authoritative and accessible, the Bloomsbury Dictionary of Word Originsis a valuable historical guide to the English language.
Did you know that 'aardvark' comes from the South African for 'earth pig'? Or that 'assassin' actually comes from the Arabic for 'smoker of hashish'? This book explains why 'bungalow' comes from Hindi and what exactly 'hello' is short for. It is an invaluable guide to the fascinating origins of everyday words. There are literally tens of thousands of English words with entertaining and engaging stories behind them. Tackling the topic in an anecdotal and yet thorough manner, Fred Sedgwick's pithy, interesting, upbeat and approachable Where Words Come From is the etymological dictionary for everyone, a book to inspire wonder, debate and laughter.
The average English speaker knows 50,000 words in contemporary use - 25 more words than there are stars in the night sky visible to the naked eye. Yet stripped down to its origins, this apparently huge vocabulary is in reality a much smaller number of words from Latin, French and the Germanic languages. It is estimated that every year, 800 neologisms are added to the English language: acronyms - 'yuppie', blended words - 'motel', and those taken from foreign languages - 'savoir-faire'. The Bloomsbury Dictionary of Word Origins provides a concise history of over 8,000 of the most commonly used words. The range of information spans from derivations as simple as 'a' and 'one' from 'an', to historical relations between words which would be obscure to all but the most lexically-minded. For instance 'vice' with its several uses in English - a wickedness, a holding tool - is derived via Old French from two separate Latin words: 'vitium' (defect, offence), and 'vitis' (vine) which gave 'viticulture'. The Bloomsbury Dictionary of Word Origins demonstrates how the diverse influences on English have given rise to some unlikely but fascinating lexical relations. 'Bishop' had no ecclesiastical
Release on 2016-09-29 | by Linda Flavell,Roger Flavell
Author: Linda Flavell,Roger Flavell
Category: English language
Words are the building blocks of language, but their derivations are often stories in themselves. Have you ever wondered why we wear perfume, read magazines, vote for candidates, speak in jargon? With entries from Accolade to Zoo and including such disparate items as Blackmail, Fiasco, Influence and Rigmarole, Dictionary of Word Origins explains the origins and development of 300 commonly used words. Essays scattered throughout the book deal with more general topics such as A Taste of India, Days of the Week and Precise Timing and allow the authors to expand on broader themes.
Seasoned generously with literary wit, The Diner's Dictionary is a veritable feast, tracing the origins and history of over 2,300 gastronomical words and phrases. John Ayto spreads across our table a veritable cornucopia, from common fruits and vegetables (apples, cherries, apricots, and broccoli, to name a few), to exotic foreign dishes such as gado-gado, nasi goreng, satay, and dashi, and even junk foods such as doughnuts, brownies, and candy. Thoroughly revised, the second edition boasts 1,000 new entries, including the word origins of affogato, bento, cava, goji berry, jalfrezi, mocktail, rugelach, vache qui rit, and zigni. In addition, Ayto has expanded the coverage of vocabulary from foreign cuisines, such as Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, and parts of South America. Throughout, Ayto provides fascinating capsule histories of the various foods. He tells us, for instance, that cantaloupe was introduced into Europe from Armenia and was apparently first cultivated at Cantaluppi, a former summer estate of the popes near Rome. We learn the ingredients of haggis and that the name of the Scandinavian drink "aquavit" ultimately derives from Latin aqua vitae or "water of life." From jambalaya and callaloo to arrowroot and shiitake, The Diner's Dictionary is a food-lover's dream, filled with information and fascinating lore.
There are no direct records of the original Indo-European speech. By comparing the vocabularies of its various descendants, however, it is possible to reconstruct the basic Indo-European roots with considerable confidence. In The Origins of English Words, Shipley catalogues these proposed roots and follows the often devious, always fascinating, process by which some of their offshoots have grown. Anecdotal, eclectic, and always enthusiastic, The Origins of English Words is a diverting expedition beyond linguistics into literature, history, folklore, anthropology, philosophy, and science.