Synopses & Reviews
Did you know:
--that the word nice meant foolish or stupid in the thirteenth century?
--that deer once referred to any animal?
--that cumberbund, pundit and bungalow, all relics of the Indian raj, have been in use in English since the 1600's?
--that such words as sandwich, boycott and malapropism take their names from people, both real and fictional?
--that sombrero, which comes to us from Spanish, originally meant an Oriental umbrella?
These are but a few of the thousands of fascinating tidbits to be found in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Etymology. Here the reader will find a clear and brief account of the origins, history, and sense-development of a major part of the modern English vacaburlary, including both basic words and a wide selection of derivative forms.
Begun under the supervision of the late G.W.S. Friedrichsen, this valuable reference book benefits from his many years of experience as an etymologist for the Oxford dictionaries.
About the Author:
T.F. Hoad is a Fellow of St. Peter's College Oxford.
"A model of its kind--all that anyone other than a specialist needs to know about words."--Daily Telegraph
Where did the words bungalow
derive? What did nice
mean in the Middle Ages? How were adder, anger
, and umpire
originally spelled? The answers can be found in this essential companion to any popular dictionary.
With over 17,000 entries, this is the most authoritative and comprehensive guide to word origins available in paperback. Based on 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. For example, readers will learn that bungalow originally meant "belonging to Bengal," that assassin comes from the Arabic for "Hashish-eater," and that nice meant "foolish or stupid" in the thirteenth century, "coy or shy" in the fifteenth. And adder, anger, and umpire were originally spelled with an initial "n." These are but a few of the fascinating tidbits found in this dictionary, which is a must for anyone interested in the richness of the English language.
From where did the words "bungalow" and "assassin" derive? How were "adder", "anger", and "umpire" originally spelled? In this essential companion to any popular dictionary, over 17,000 entries provide a wealth of information about our language and its history.
About the Author
T. F. Hoad
is Lecturer in English at Oxford University.