Ballyhoo, buckaroo, and spuds: ingenious tales of words and their origins

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Smithsonian Books in association with Penguin Books, 2004 - History - 280 pages
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The real story of a word or phrase&'s origin and evolution is often much stranger&...and much more humorous&...than the commonly accepted one; the many entries will certainly leave you &"happy as a clam.&" Happy as a clam? Really, what&'s so happy about being a clam? The saying makes much more sense when it&'s paired with its missing second half: &"at high water.&" Now a clam at high water is a safe clam, and thus a happy clam. From the bawdy to the sublime, Quinion&'s explanations and delightful asides truly prove that the &"proof is in the pudding.&"

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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

Contents

Introduction
1
Acknowledgments
9
Select Bibliography
273
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

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

Bibliographic information