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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > Klein's Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language
Klein's Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language: Unabridged by Ernest Klein Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
Klein's Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language This is the most expensive dictionary of etymology in print. That said, you certainly get what you pay for. This is an exceedingly well-researched, well-written, comprehensive etymological dictionary, not to mention the superb binding (signature-sewn with a bonded-leather hardcover). It is probably a little beyond the budget of many personal users. For libraries, however, this volume is a must-have. Several hundred words previously defined as being "of unknown etymology" are fully analyzed, and this is the only comprehensive etymology that analyzes common first names, biblical and mythological characters, angels, saints and demons, and place names. Klein's work also provides thousands of medical, legal and scientific terms, as well as all roots and stems used to create compound English words. One reader, and acquaintance of the late author, wrote: "Dr. Klein possessed a quiet unassuming brilliance that shines through on every page of this dictionary. This Dictionary is an exhaustive and detailed etymology, with scholarship unrivalled in English." It is fortunate that the publishers have gone to the trouble of providing such sturdy binding and high quality paper/printing, for this book is going to get a lot of use in any library, private or public. Very highly recommended.
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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology
Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology by Charles T. Onions (Editor) Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology Dr. C. T. Onions first joined the staff of the Oxford English Dictionary in 1895. He worked on the OED, the Shorter OED, and then published his Shakespeare Glossary in 1911. A wonderful and learned scholar, he died in 1966 as the first edition of The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology was going to press. Assisted by G.W.S. Friedrichsen and R.W. Burchfield, Onions created a magnificent work of erudition, with 24,000 main entries. Including their derivatives, the dictionary delves into the origins of more than 38,000 words. For each entry, the dictionary provides the correct pronunciation, followed by a short definition, and the century and source of the word's first recording. Then come the etymological notes. Thus one learns that "froth" (an aggregation of small bubbles on liquid) was first noted in the 14th century, in Sir Gawain and the Bible, that it comes from the Old Norse frooa, and was taken from there into German (fraup) and Old English (froth). Now in its fifth printing and a standard reference for scholars, Onions's opus is second only to Klein's Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language (but is significantly less expensive). This 1,042-page volume is more thorough and comprehensive than the Chambers Dictionary of Etymology, with a few more entries, and going into the histories of each in a little more depth. (The Chambers Dictionary of Etymology is more user-friendly and, if you do not require an absolutely authoratative reference, perhaps represents better value for money than this title.)
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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > Chambers Dictionary of Etymology
Chambers Dictionary of Etymology by Robert K. Barnhart (Editor) Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
Chambers Dictionary of Etymology There are three highly respected authorities on etymology in print, of which this is one. The others are The Oxford Dictionary of Etymology and Klein's Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. Whilst these other two undoubtedly have the edge over the Chambers Dictionary of Etymology, they are less competitively priced. The Chambers Dictionary of Etymology thus strikes a good balance of quality and affordability. How are the words 'door' German 'Tür' 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 choice in lexical matters. First published as the Barnhart Etymological Dictionary, the Chambers Dictionary of Etymology offers a unique combination of approachability and authoritativeness in an accessible single-volume format, making it an essential etymological resource for the expert, and a fascinating reference for the general reader. As we have come to expect from Chambers, this volume is well bound and very easy to use.
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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > The Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins
The Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins: Facts on File Series by Robert Hendrickson Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
The Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins Seemingly designed for those with laser-focused attention or plenty of time on their hands, the Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins provides days of browsing for etymophiles. More than 9,000 entries, nearly a quarter of them new to this edition, cover slang, idiom, and commonly used words with interesting or curious histories. Ranging from a few sentences to half a page, the entries are consistently entertaining and well-researched, though author Robert Hendrickson acknowledges in his preface that "no good tale is omitted merely because it isn't true." (He does mark stories believed to be apocryphal.) The book pulls few, if any, punches, and nearly everyone will find at least one term or definition offensive; try "Irish beauty" for "a girl with two black eyes," for example. But, for every potentially offensive term, you'll find several hundred delights, such as "veronica" and "cut off your nose to spite your face." Though there's a slight trend toward Americanisms, there's plenty of British, Irish, and other varieties of English represented herein as well. While it is a terrifically useful reference work, it is nearly impossible to keep one's eyes from wandering, more so than with any other work of its kind. Still, a few extra minutes spent in the company of good words and good stories makes the Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins as pleasurable as it is useful. Not cheap, but well worth the money if you can afford it as it is a notable improvement on less expensive equivalents.
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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology
Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology by Robert K. Barnhart Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology This is surely the most comprehensive, thorough, and reliable affordable dictionary of etymology available today. As all lovers of language know, words are the source of our very understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Often, however, our use of language is so automatic that we neglect to consider where those words came from and what they assume. What are the implications, beyond the simple dictionary definitions, of using words such as privilege, hysteria, seminal, and gyp? Browsing through the pages of The Barhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology is like exploring the historical, political, and rhetorical wonderland of our linguistic heritage. We see the evolution of ideas, as rootword connections that now seem arbitrary are traced to schools of thought from the past. We also find an opportunity to examine how the sometimes backwards, sometimes hilarious, and sometimes illuminating ideologies built into our language affect our modern thinking. Written in a fresh, accessible style, this book provides the derivations of over 25,000 English-language words without resorting to the use of abbreviations, symbols, or technical terminology. Drawing on the most current American scholarship, and focusing on the core words in contemporary English, The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology is both a diverting browse and a thinking person's Bible.
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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins
Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by William Morris and Mary Morris (Editors) Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins Anyone interested in the English language will be fascinated by - and then obsessed with - this dictionary that reads like an erudite gossip column for the city of words. The Morrises bring an extensive knowledge of literature and linguistics and a perceptive sense of humor to their task. They reveal their expertise in informal, often witty, always piquant definitions of words that have crept into general usage via circuitous routes. In addition to being an indispensable reference volume, this book could well be picked up at random and read with interest and delight. For anyone seeking an engaging, entertaining, and thoroughly readable work on word histories the Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins could not be more highly recommended.
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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > Dictionary of Word Origins
Dictionary of Word Origins: A History of the Words, Expressions and Cliches We Use by Jordan Almond Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
Dictionary of Word Origins 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.
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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > The Clan of the Flapdragon and Other Adventures in Etymology
The Clan of the Flapdragon and Other Adventures in Etymology: By B.M.W. Schrapnel, PhD by Richard McKee Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
The Clan of the Flapdragon and Other Adventures in Etymology There has never been another book quite like it. It almost defies description. It's part serious etymology, part semi-serious satire, and part, as mentioned on the book jacket, "dementia". The Clan of the Flapdragon is a fun book of thirty short essays. Each one concerns the history of some word or phrase, but quickly veers off in unexpected directions. Read Dr. Schrapnel carefully and you will be awed by his insight, revolted by his pomposity and floored by his wit, sometimes all in one sentence. These adventurous essays include lampoons on writing, language, and literature, and the collection is a delightful spoof of much in contemporary culture - especially areas of intellectual pretension. Readers will be entertained by anachronistic allusions, improbable parodies, whimsical etymologies, and tongue-in-cheek wordplay - examples of just some of the liberties Schrapnel takes with the language. The eccentric Dr. Schrapnel includes a variety of audience reactions in the form of bogus letters from fictional readers, confirming that language and literature are everyone's business. This book is best enjoyed like a box of chocolates: one or two a day. Okay, maybe a third, but save some for tomorrow.
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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology
Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology: Oxford Paperback Reference by T.F. Hoad (Editor) Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology With 17,000 entries, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology is a cut-down version of The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, the principal authority on the origin and development of English words. It contains a wealth of information about our language and its history. At such a low price it is well worth investing in this invaluable reference tool, which, unlike most etymological dictionaries, is of compact, easily portable dimensions. Highly recommended if you want a concise etymological reference, although anyone with a serious interest would be well advised to invest in a more comprehensive volume. Paperback; 552 pages.
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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > English Words
English Words: History and Structure by Robert Stockwell and Donka Minkova Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
English Words The subject of this book is the origin of words in the English language, primarily those borrowed from the classical languages, namely Latin and Greek, either directly, or via French. A secondary theme is the internal structure of English words. Exercises to accompany each of the ten chapters are available to download from the web. The text is very accessible to all levels of reader; no knowledge of linguistics or linguistic terminology is assumed. For the reader unfamiliar with historical linguistics, or the influences which have shaped the English language, it will bring a new dimension to the understanding of the words that form the basis of our language. The once-baffling relationships between pronunciation, spelling, and meaning will become a source of enjoyment in themselves in the light of what can be learned from this book.
Read full review article of English Words here.
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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > Dictionary of Word Origins
Dictionary of Word Origins: Histories of More Than 8,000 English-Language Words by John Ayto Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
Dictionary of Word Origins This Dictionary of Word Origins lists alphabetically the histories of more than 8,000 words in the English language. 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. 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. 592 pages; Arcade Publishing.
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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > The Landscape of Place-Names
The Landscape of Place-Names by Margaret Gelling and Ann Cole Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
The Landscape of Place-Names Many place-names derive from prominent features of the local landscape. We can thus discover much about olden-day words for hills, lakes, and forests by studying the names of present-day villages and towns. In this book, Margaret Gelling and Ann Cole present a wealth of information on the role of the landscape in creating names for places, and what place-names can tell us about topographical words. Each chapter follows the same format, approaching the topic in such a way as to make reference quick and simple. It has clearly been thoroughly researched with outstanding attention to detail, and the reader will not be surprised to learn that the authors have been working in this field for over two decades. Its readable style and non-technical approach make it accessible to anyone interested in the subject, as well as undergraduates, graduates, and academics.
Read full review article of The Landscape of Place-Names here.
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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > The Street Names of England
The Street Names of England by Adrian Room Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
The Street Names of England This pioneering work, with its new taxonomy of street names, will prove and invaluable tool for English local historians and students of English history. It is a wonderfully accessible work, bound to be enjoyed by all with an interest in etymology. It is divided into sections including self-descriptive names, field and water names, directional names, religious names, trading and occupational names, names of buildings and structures, names from inns, bridge names, personal names, commemorative names, and thematic names. Over 3,500 examples illustrate the text, for example the curious Whip-ma Whop-ma Gate, which Room speculates takes its name from the nearby whipping post and pillory. It also includes a section of advice on studying street names.
Read full review article of The Street Names of England here.
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Fun-with-words.com > Etymology Books > 2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions
2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions: From White Elephants to Song Dance by Charles Earle Funk Book ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook ReviewBook Review
2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions 2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions is an omnibus of four books previously published by Charles Earle Funk: A Hog on Ice and Other Curious Expressions (1948), Thereby Hangs a Tale (1950), Heavens to Betsy! (1955), and Horesefathers and Other Curious Words (1958). How did the expression a wild goose chase originate? Dr. Funk has taken this and over 2,000 other curious words, expressions, and sayings that we use in our daily speech and traced them back through the years to find their amusing, practical, and surprising origins. These sayings are derived from classical sources, historic events, famous literature, frontier humor, and the frailties of mankind: take 40 winks, let the cat out of the bag, bark up the wrong tree, walk the chalk, have an ax to grind, make hay while the sun shines, start from scratch, cry "uncle", ride the gravy train, keep up with the Joneses, hit below the belt, go off the deep end, get cold feet, draw the line, eat one's hat, and lock the barn door after the horse is stolen. Dictionaries cannot find space for the drama associated with the origins of colorful words and phrases in our language. This book thoroughly and entertainingly tells the stories of hundreds of these sayings and the circumstances that brought them into our everyday speech. Charles Earle Funk is editor-in-chief of the Funk & Wagnall's Standard Dictionary Series. The book is illustrated with the drawings of Tom Funk.
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