This is an entertaining as well as informative account of some 750 of the more interesting (and in some cases controversial) etymologies of English words, arranged by chronological groups from Anglo-Saxon times to the 20th century. An index will list the words in alphabetical order. A random check in the OED indicates that Carver, a consultant on the American Heritage Dictionary and Random House Dictionary , knows what he's talking about. Multiple possible etymologies are given in some disputed cases, and copious quotations illustrate the use of the words at different times. While not a substitute for reference purposes of the much larger word hoard in the OED or a good unabridged dictionary, this is an interesting book to read and is recommended, especially for public libraries.
- Catherine V. von Schon, SUNY at Stony Brook
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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