Weird and Wonderful Words

ISBN 13: 9780195159059

Weird and Wonderful Words

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9780195159059: Weird and Wonderful Words
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Do you know what a snollygoster is? Do you know anyone who engages in onolatry? Would you eat something called a muktuk? Impress your friends and pepper your dinner party conversations with such nuggets as gobemouche, mumpsimus, and cachinnate. Tie your tongue in knots trying to say such sesquipedalian words as floccinaucinihilipilification or pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. You can learn about all of these bizarre and beautiful words and many more in Weird and Wonderful Words.

Weird and Wonderful Words is a potpourri--a gallimaufry--a salmagundi--a collection of colorful and strange words. Compiled by noted lexicographer Erin McKean, the book contains hundreds of definitions written in a clear and conversational style accompanied by full-page cartoon illustrations by Roz Chast. Featuring hundreds of words guaranteed to amuse and astonish, this is a book that will appeal to logophiles everywhere. It also features a bibliography of Oxford dictionaries and a guide to creating your own unusual words correctly from Greek and Latin roots.

Smart and funny and with just a touch of whimsy, Weird and Wonderful Words is the perfect book for reading in your sitooterie with a bumbo in your hand while mavises sing in your earor something like that.

A sampling of Weird and Wonderful Words:
*Autochthon: a human being born from the soil where he or she lives (like the Biblical Adam). Also used as a synonym for aborigine, it comes from a Greek word meaning sprung from that land itself.
*Camorra: a secret society, usually one breaking the law. This word comes from the name of group that was active in Naples in the nineteenth century.
*Snollygoster: a dishonest politician, especially a shrewd or calculating one. A connection has been proposed between this word and snallygaster, a mythical monster of Maryland, invented to frighten freed slaves. However, the first evidence for snallygaster follows snollygoster by about a hundred years, making a connection (in this direction, at least) unlikely.
*Tigon: the hybrid offspring of a male tiger and a lioness. A liger is the offspring produced by a male lion and a tigress.

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About the Author:


Erin McKean is the Senior Editor for the Oxford University Press North American Dictionary Program and the Editor of Verbatim magazine.
Roz Chast is a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker and the author of more than five books of cartoons.

From Library Journal:

This book is as wonderful as the weird words in it. McKean, editor of Verbatim and a dictionary editor at Oxford, has culled all manner of words that either sound unusual or mean something unusual. Have you ever heard of an otacust or a gallnipper? Have you ever worbled or been exauctorated? If not, you are missing something. Word lovers everywhere will have a great deal of fun with this book. In addition to the dictionary-style presentation, essays are sprinkled throughout (e.g., the fascinating "Irregular and Incredible Illnesses-Many Words for Diseases"), and a concluding essay explains how to create your own weird and wonderful words. To add to the reader's joy, McKean has included quirky and amazing illustrations by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast that add to the book's flavor and make it that much more intriguing. Because this book is meant to be fun rather than academic, there are no etymologies or pronunciation guides and not much detail for many of the words. But it doesn't really matter because the mandate here is silliness and fun. Funambulists, seplasiaries, and word lovers everywhere surely will want this book.
Manya S. Chylinski, Ctr. for Business Knowledge, Ernst & Young, Boston
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Roz Chast (illustrator). Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Weird and Wonderful Words is a pot-pourri, a gallimaufry, a salmagundi, a treasure trove of colourful, quirky, and unusual words. Containing hundreds of definitions written in a clear and conversational style and full-page illustrations which offer a whimsical and hilarious view of our glorious language. Amuse yourself and entertain your friends with your knowledge of who a snollygoster or a Funambulist may be, what a humdudgeon or a nubbingcheat was, or why you might want to engage in catopromancy. Appendices include a bibliography of Oxford dictionaries and a guide to creating your own unusual words correctly from Greek and Latin roots. The perfect stocking filler and gift book, Weird and Wonderful Words is sure to be a favourite of logophiles (word lovers) everywhere. Seller Inventory # BTE9780195159059

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Roz Chast (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Weird and Wonderful Words is a pot-pourri, a gallimaufry, a salmagundi, a treasure trove of colourful, quirky, and unusual words. Containing hundreds of definitions written in a clear and conversational style and full-page illustrations which offer a whimsical and hilarious view of our glorious language. Amuse yourself and entertain your friends with your knowledge of who a snollygoster or a Funambulist may be, what a humdudgeon or a nubbingcheat was, or why you might want to engage in catopromancy. Appendices include a bibliography of Oxford dictionaries and a guide to creating your own unusual words correctly from Greek and Latin roots. The perfect stocking filler and gift book, Weird and Wonderful Words is sure to be a favourite of logophiles (word lovers) everywhere. Seller Inventory # APC9780195159059

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Roz Chast (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Weird and Wonderful Words is a pot-pourri, a gallimaufry, a salmagundi, a treasure trove of colourful, quirky, and unusual words. Containing hundreds of definitions written in a clear and conversational style and full-page illustrations which offer a whimsical and hilarious view of our glorious language. Amuse yourself and entertain your friends with your knowledge of who a snollygoster or a Funambulist may be, what a humdudgeon or a nubbingcheat was, or why you might want to engage in catopromancy. Appendices include a bibliography of Oxford dictionaries and a guide to creating your own unusual words correctly from Greek and Latin roots. The perfect stocking filler and gift book, Weird and Wonderful Words is sure to be a favourite of logophiles (word lovers) everywhere. Seller Inventory # APC9780195159059

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