Dictionary of Word Origins by Linda Flavell, Roger Flavell
Reference | Words, Language & Grammar
Dictionary of Word Origins
Linda Flavell, Roger Flavell
Trafalgar Square (September 1, 1996)
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Aimed at both word-puzzle enthusiasts and language students, this is a companion to "Dictionary of Idioms" and "Dictionary of Proverbs", and is by the same authors. It contains over 500 entries on common words ("boycott", "tawdry", "candidate"), their origins and their histories, and many other words are detailed in cross-references. In some instances the development of the word is illustrated with tree-diagrams showing its progress - for example, from Greek to Latin to Old French to English. The diagrams also highlight those offshoots which developed into other, often seemingly unconnected words. Throughout the book there are mini-essays on general topics, including sources, derivations and common themes such as words for plants, or for cloth.