More Word Histories and Mysteries: From Aardvark to Zombie

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Houghton Mifflin, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 288 pages
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Did you know that school originally meant “free time”? Or that a gymnasium was originally a “nude practice area”? Or that nachos are named after Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, who created them? The fascinating stories of these words and over three hundred more are told in More Word Histories and Mysteries: From Aardvark to Zombie.

In this companion to the popular Word Histories and Mysteries: From Abracadabra to Zeus, the most surprising stories in the history of English vocabulary are told as a series of brief notes written in a lively and entertaining style. Conveniently arranged in alphabetical order, the notes explore all corners of the dictionary, from everyday words like flak and sideburns to scientific terms like nitrogen to regionalisms like lagniappe.
The history of many words is traced back to Egypt, India, and other ancient cultures.

A short introduction sketches the history of the English language and American regional dialects. A handy glossary defines special terms for readers who wish to learn more about linguistics and also gives information about the exotic languages that have enriched our vocabulary.
Photographs and drawings enliven the pages and illuminate the understanding of word histories.

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More word histories and mysteries: from aardvark to zombie

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Compiled by the editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries, this follow-up to 2004'sWord Histories and Mysteries emphasizes the huge number of source languages from which English draws its vast ... Read full review

About the author (2006)

The Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries and of other reference titles published by Houghton Mifflin Company are trained lexicographers with a varied array of interests and expertise. Most of the editors hold graduate degrees and have studied at least one foreign language. Several have degrees in linguistics or in the history of the English language. Others have degrees in science or sometimes other disciplines. All the editors familiarize themselves with the vocabulary in specific subject areas, collect materials on new developments and usage, and work in association with consultants to ensure that the content of our publications is as accurate and as up-to-date as possible.

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