Ballyhoo, Buckaroo, and Spuds: Ingenious Tales of Words and Their Origins

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HarperCollins, Mar 14, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 288 pages
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The cat's pajamas, the bee's knees, and the whole nine yards rolled into one, this true feast for word lovers skewers commonly accepted word-origin myths and etymological folktales. Writing with flair and authority, word maven and Oxford English Dictionary contributor Michael Quinion shows us that the real story behind a word or phrase is often much stranger than the commonly accepted one. With this book in your arsenal, you'll have the last word in every word-lover's game of one-upmanship. So if you've ever wondered why we utter such oddities as "raining cats and dogs," "I couldn't care less," or "twenty-three skidoo," this one's for you. No ballyhoo!

  

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Ballyhoo, Buckaroo, and Spuds: Ingenious Tales of Words and Their Origins

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Folk etymology, namely, stories describing word origins, takes the stage as Quinion narrates and evaluates competing explanations of a word's or phrase's evolution. A contributor to the venerable OED ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Michael Quinion hosts and writes the World Wide Words Web site and is a contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary.

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