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Describes the meanings of hundreds of words and phrases, and traces the history of these items back to their origins
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This entertainment-oriented etymological dictionary is an uneven hodgepodge of 500 paragraph-length entries. Dictionary readers' curiosity is the only revealed selection criterion. The words and phrases included range from the ostensibly uninteresting ( cat, bed ) to the current ( latchkey child ) to the technical ( niobium ). Some entries simply give a wordy rendition of the standard dictionary etymology, but others provide interesting narrative backgrounds in an often waggish, pun-riddled prose. Like Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins ( LJ 10/1/77), which provides over 3000 entries, Word Mysteries and Histories is designed for browsing. Robert Aken, Univ. of Kentucky Libs., Lexington
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Houghton Mifflin, 1986. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0395402654