Etymology and Slang
How the Irish Invented Slang
The Secret Language of the Crossroads
Paperback ISBN: 1904859607
Cassidy reveals how the Gaelic of Irish immigrants to North America has infiltrated into slang and other informal and non-elite realms of English. Among the words he traces to Irish are slum, dude, and rookie. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
How to Speak Brit
The Quintessential Guide to the King's English, Cockney Slang, and Other Flummoxing British Phrases
Hardcover ISBN: 1592408982
The quintessential A to Z guide to British English?perfect for every egghead and bluestocking looking to conquer the language barrier Oscar Wilde once said the Brits have "everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language." Any visitor to Old Blighty can sympathize with Mr. Wilde. After all, even fluent English speakers can be at sixes and sevens when told to pick up the "dog and bone" or "head to the loo," so they can "spend a penny." Wherever did these peculiar expressions come from? British author Christopher J. Moore made a name for himself on this side of the pond with the sleeper success of his previous book, In Other Words. Now, Moore draws on history, literature, pop culture, and his own heritage to explore the phrases that most embody the British character. He traces the linguistic influence of writers from Chaucer to Shakespeare and Dickens to Wodehouse, and unravels the complexity Brits manage to imbue in seemingly innocuous phrases like "All right." Along the way, Moore reveals the uniquely British origins of some of the English language’s more curious sayings. For example: Who is Bob and how did he become your uncle? Why do we refer to powerless politicians as ?lame ducks
Lost in Translation
An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World
Hardcover ISBN: 1607747103
"An artistic collection of 50 drawings featuring unique, funny, and poignant foreign words that have no direct translation into English. Did you know that the Japanese have a word to express the way sunlight filters through the leaves of trees? Or that there's a Swedish word to describe the reflection of the moon across the water? The nuanced beauty of language is even more interesting and relevant in our highly communicative, globalized modern world. Lost in Translation brings this wonder to life with 50 ink illustrations featuring the foreign word, the language of origin, and a pithy definition. The words and definitions range from the lovely, such as goya, the Urdu word to describe the transporting suspension of belief that can occur in good storytelling, to the funny, like the Hawaiian pana po'o, which describes the act of scratching your head to remember something you've forgotten. Each beautiful, simple illustration adds just the right amount of visual intrigue to anchor the words and their meanings"--
Ntc's Super-Mini Common American Phrases
Paperback ISBN: 0844204587
Origins of the Specious
Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language
Paperback ISBN: 0812978102
Do you cringe when a talking head pronounces “niche” as NITCH? Do you get bent out of shape when your teenager begins a sentence with “and,” or says “octopuses” instead of “octopi”? Do you think British spellings are more “civilised” than the American versions? Would you bet the bank that “jeep” got its start as a military term and “SOS” as an acronym for “Save Our Ship”? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re myth-informed. Go stand in the corner–and read this book! In Origins of the Specious, word mavens Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellerman explode the misconceptions that have led generations of language lovers astray. They reveal why some of grammar’s best-known “rules” aren’t–and never were–rules at all. They explain how Brits and Yanks wound up speaking the same language so differently, and why British English isn’t necessarily purer. This playfully witty yet rigorously researched book sets the record straight about bogus word origins, politically correct fictions, phony français, fake acronyms, and more. English is an endlessly entertaining, ever-changing language, and yesterday’s blooper could be tomorrow’s bon mot–or vice versa! Here are some shockers: “They” was once commonly used for both singular and plural, much the way “you” is today. And an eighteenth-century female grammarian, of all people, is largely responsible for the all-purpose “he.” The authors take us wherever myths lurk, from the Queen’s English to street slang, from Miss Grundy’s admonitions to four-letter unmentionables. This eye-opening romp will be the toast of grammarphiles and the salvation of grammarphobes. Take our word for it. From the Hardcover edition.
The Painted Word
A Treasure Chest of Remarkable Words and Their Origins
Paperback ISBN: 1936740176
To untangle the knot of interlocking meanings of these painted words, logophile and mythologist Phil Cousineau begins each fascinating word entry with his own brief definition. He then fills it in with a tint of etymology and a smattering of quotes that show how the word is used, ending with a list of companion words. The words themselves range from commonplace ? like biscuit, a twice-baked cake for Roman soldiers ? to loanwords including chaparral, from the Basque shepherds who came to the American West; words from myths, such as hector; metamorphosis words, like silly, which evolved holy to goofy in a mere thousand years; and words well worthy of revival, such as carrytale, a wandering storyteller. Whether old-fangled or brand new, all the words included in The Painted Word possess an ineffable quality that makes them luminous.
Pronouncing Dictionary of American English
2nd Edition Hardcover ISBN: 0877790477
"A unique guide to the pronunciation of American English presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Over 40,000 entries for common words, plus historical, literary, and proper names. Great for ESL students."
Reading the OED
One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages
Hardcover ISBN: 0399533982
An obsessive word lover provides an entertaining account of the year he spent reading the Oxford English Dictionary cover to cover, offering a colorful selection of obscure, hilarious, and offbeat vocabulary gems he discovered along the way.