An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language

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Courier Corporation, 2005 - Reference - 780 pages
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Comprehensive and easy to use, this resource offers numerous cross-references that allow readers to trace English words back to their Indo-European roots. By exhibiting the relationship between English and cognate tongues, it reveals the language's basis in Latin and Greek as well as prior derivations from Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic sources.
Each entry begins with a brief definition and an exact statement of the term's actual (or probable) language of origin. An account of its transition to English usage follows, along with either a few quotations that indicate the period at which the word was adapted, or else the usual Middle-English forms. A helpful Appendix contains a glossary of prefixes, a general accounting of suffixes, a table of Indo-European roots, and vocabularies of homonyms and doublets, in addition to lists showing the distribution of the sources of English.
A standard reference for many years, this volume will prove a practical resource not only to students of comparative philology and of early English, but to everyone with an interest in the origin, history, and development of the English language.
 

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About the author (2005)

Walter William Skeat, English philologist, was born in London on November 21,1835, and educated at King's College School (Wimbledon), Highgate School, and Christ's College, Cambridge, of which he became a fellow in July 1860. His grandsons include the noted palaeographer T. C. Skeat and the stained glass painter Francis Skeat. Skeat's principal achievement was his Etymological English Dictionary. While preparing the dictionary he wrote hundreds of short articles on word origins for the London-based journal: Notes and Queries. Skeat is responsibel for coining the meaning of a "ghost word" --- a meaningless word that came into existence or acceptance, not by being derived through long-standing usage, nor by being coined at need, but only as the result of an error. His other works include: A Concise Dictionary of Middle English (1888), in conjunction with A. L. Mayhew; A Student's Pastime (1896), a volume of essays; The Chaucer Canon (1900); and A Primer of Classical and English Philology (1905). Skeat died in 1912.

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