The Insect That Stole Butter?: Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins Julia Cresswell

ISBN: 9780199547920

Published:

Hardcover

502 pages


Description

The Insect That Stole Butter?: Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins  by  Julia Cresswell

The Insect That Stole Butter?: Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins by Julia Cresswell
| Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 502 pages | ISBN: 9780199547920 | 3.14 Mb

Drawing on Oxfords unrivalled dictionary research program and language monitoring, this fascinating volume captures the often odd and unexpected stories behind many of our most curious expressions, offering a rich account that far exceeds what canMoreDrawing on Oxfords unrivalled dictionary research program and language monitoring, this fascinating volume captures the often odd and unexpected stories behind many of our most curious expressions, offering a rich account that far exceeds what can be found in a general dictionary.Indeed, this alphabetically organized resource contains a wealth of information on the history of English words, in a delightful roadmap tracing the curious twists and turns that words take as their meanings evolve over the centuries.

We learn, for instance, that abracadabra, just a fun word said by magicians today, was once believed to actually be a magic word that was supposed to be a charm against fever and was often engraved on an amulet worn around the neck. And we also discover the curious history of the word ache, whose noun form was once pronounced aitch and whose verb form was spelled ake, while the modern word is spelled like the old noun but pronounced like the old verb.

The entries include the first known use of a word along with examples that illustrate the many faces of the particular word or phrase. For instance, under bunny, which was originally a term of endearment (and only later a small rabbit), the editor also discusses bunny boiler (a woman who acts vengefully after having been spurned), which refers to the Glenn Close character in Fatal Attraction.

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).The Insect that Stole Butter? is a must-have volume for anyone who loves language and enjoys the strange and singular tales of the history of words.



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