Dictionary of Word Origins
Currently out of stock and out of print. As of 9 December 2008 the publisher has not yet set a date for reprinting but they do expect to do so. We will take back orders because a reprint is expected and we will not charge you till will ship the book.
From the publisher
"For those seeking a well-written, up-to-date, etymological dictionary that sets forth its information in a understandable English,... the Dictionary of Word origins would be a good choice." --Verbatim
What is the link between map and apron, acrobat and oxygen, zeal and jealousy, flour and pollen, secret and crime? Did you know that crimson comes originally from the name of tiny scale insects, the kermes, from whose dried bodies a red dyestuff is made? That Yankee started life as a nickname for Dutchmen? That omelette evolved from amulettee, ?a thin sheet of metal,? and is a not-to-distant cousin of the word laminate? That jeans find their antecedent in jean fustian, meaning '? cotton fabric from Genoa'?
The Dictionary of Word Origins uncovers the hidden and often surprising connections between words.
Written in a clear and informative style, the more then 8,000 articles reveal the origins of and links between some of the most common English-language words. They also contain an extensive selection of words whose life histories are intrinsically fascinating or instructive. This dictionary shows how modern English has developed from its Indo-European roots and how the various influences on the language?from migration and invasion to exploration, trade, technology, and scholarship?have intermingled. It presents valuable, up-to-date information on new words and coinages, with entries on neologisms ranging from motel and xerox to the more recent yuppie and glasnost. The articles are cross-referenced and alphabetically organized, and provide both the year a word was first recorded in English and its key etymons.
Conveying the astonishing richness and diversity of the English language with a rare combination of authority and accessibility, the Dictionary of Wrod Origins will enlighten and entertain anyone who delights in words.
John Ayto is a writer and lexicographer who contributed to the Longman Dictionary of the English Language and compiled the Longman Register of New Words. He also writes the popular "Words" column for The Observer (London).