Synopses & Reviews
English is spoken by more than a billion people worldwide. And from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Portsmouth, England, to Papua New Guinea, wherever it is spoken, the English language is enriched by its diverse speakers. Expressions such as the delightfully evocative Jamaican belly-god (a greedy, gluttonous person), the efficiently upbeat Japanese conflation imejiappu (to "image-up" or improve ones image), and the archly truculent Australianism spine-bashing ("loafing" or "resting"), are just a few examples of the countless regional twists on English usage that can both charm and bewilder the unprepared traveler, foreign movie fan, or word buff.
The first A-to-Z reference to English diction in all its flavors, hues, tones, and timbres, World English is your best hedge against this increasingly common cause of vocabulary-induced bumfuzzlement.
Written by Robert Hendrickson, the distinguished author of several critically acclaimed works on the English languageincluding the internationally celebrated Human WordsWorld English contains almost 3,000 carefully selected words and phrases culled from fifty regional variations on the English-language theme. Each entry includes a concise definition and the terms region of origin, and many offer an example sentence showing how the word is used. In many cases, entries are enlivened by amusing and enlightening anecdotes and fun facts relating to a terms history and varying uses that frequently provide
fascinating insights into the culture from which it arose.
In addition to offering entries from countries or regions where English is the first languageincluding the British Isles, the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Australia, and New ZealandWorld English features words from countries where English is one of several official languages, such as India, South Africa, and Malaysia. Youll also find dozens of examples of English words and phrases that have made their way into non-English-speaking countries, sometimes with a surprising twist in meaning, such as the French un slow (an American-style blues song), the Italian lo slip (mens underwear), and the Japanese stand play (to perform ostentatiously for an audience).
World English is sure to become a staple among word lovers, travelers, and anyone alive to the rich cultural tapestry that is the new global village.
"Hendrickson's love of the English language is apparent in his unusual presentation of the book's entries, which provide etymology and region of origin....[E]ntertaining and informative." Library Journal
From Albuquerque to Melbourne to Zanzibar, a lively tour of English usage around the world
Is "Whats up, Doc?" an appropriate response to a Scot who asks if youre wabbit?
Is it logical to assume that a cowhand has been dipping into the loco weed when he tells you hes six feet above snakes?
If an Australian gives you heaps, should you thank him, laugh, get angry, or see a doctor?
With World English, youll never be in the dark about the meanings of these and thousands of other English words and phrases. Featuring complete definitions of almost 3,000 English terms from around the world, World English is an endless source of insight, inspiration, and fun for writers, word mavens, international business people, students, and sophisticated travelers alike.
The only A-to-Z reference to English usage around the world
- Features almost 3,000 English words and phrases
- Entries include concise definitions, regions of origin, cross-cultural synonyms, and notes on etymology
"We have adopted as words Bartletts and Websters; maybe someday, well have Hendricksons as a generic term."Library Journal, from a review of Human Words
About the Author
Robert Hendrickson is the author of several critically acclaimed works on the English language, including Human Words, American Talk: The Words and Ways of American Dialects; The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins; and Facts on File Dictionary of American Regionalisms. He is also the author of several celebrated works on American literature and the Civil War. He lives in Peconic, New York.