What is the true origin of the phrase 'one fell swoop'? Does the word 'honeymoon' really derive from an old Persian custom of giving the happy couple mead, a honey wine, for the first month after the wedding? The rapid growth of the internet and the use of email has increased the circulation of (usually) false tales about the evolution of language. In this entertaining and fascinating new book on the origins of words and expressions, Michael Quinion retells the mythic tales that have become popular currency - the word 'posh' deriving from 'port out, starboard home' - and also tries to find and explain the true stories behind the origins of phrases. Quinion offers explanations of why and how stories about words are created, and how misunderstanding word origins - while usually harmless - can have serious consequences.
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Easily accessible -- Mail on Sunday, 1st August 2004
Every page of this book is a sheer delight. -- Catholic Herald, 16th July, 2004
This is a marvellous and original book, erudition without tears. -- The Spectator, 31 July 3005
Michael Quinion has contributed to the Oxford Dictionary of New Words (2nd edition), edited the weekly Daily Telegraph new words column, and is author of a dictionary of affixes, Ologies and Isms (OUP). Since 1996 he has produced the weekly e-newsletter World Wide Words, which has an associated website. He lives in Bristol.
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Book Description London, England; Penguin Books, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 8vo(8"x5"), xvi,282pps including bibliography and 'webliography'. London, England; Penguin Books, 2004. Arranged in alphabetical order, these word stories explain the origins--real and fictional--of expressions in common use in the English-speaking world: rule of thumb; blunderbuss; dead as a doornail. Red paper over boards, lettered in silver on the spine. White dust jacket printed in red, black and blue, now in a protective mylar sleeve. Contents clean, tight, and unmarked. New/As New. $16.00. LocF/R. Bookseller Inventory # 1386
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0140515348
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140515348
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 2004-07-01, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0140515348 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0140515348
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110140515348