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Dictionary of Word Origins

John Ayto

134 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1559701331 / ISBN 13: 9781559701334
Published by Arcade Publishing, NY, 1991
Used Condition: NM Hardcover
From Yesterday's Books (Richmond, IN, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

583 pp, the book and contents are very clean and solid, almost as new, the front endpaper has a very small, 1/8" x 3/4", owner name stamped on the upper right corner, the dust jacket has some light edge wear and rubbing, a very nice copy of this book. Bookseller Inventory # 008840

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dictionary of Word Origins

Publisher: Arcade Publishing, NY

Publication Date: 1991

Binding: Cloth and Paper Covered Boards

Book Condition:NM

Dust Jacket Condition: VG

Edition: None Stated

About this title


This dictionary covers the history of 8000 words, arranged alphabetically with cross-references. It shows how English has developed, how the main influences on the language have intermingled, and deals with new words which emerge every year. John Ayto compiled the "Longman Register of New Words".

From Library Journal:

An alphabetical listing of some 8000 English words with their histories, this book omits other dictionary features such as pronunciation, part of speech, and, in most cases, definitions. 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 . The date of a word's first appearance in the language is indicated by century or by "OE" for Old English. The author is English, so Americans will miss some typically American words such as raccoon , ranch , or stoop (porch). Like Craig M. Carver's recent (and smaller) History of English in Its Own Words ( LJ 6/15/91), this book is not a reference acquisition for any library owning the OED or Webster's unabridged, but it makes interesting reading for the public library patron or the linguistics or English student.
- Catherine V. von Schon, SUNY at Stony Brook
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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