Semantic Antics: How and why Words Change Meaning

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Random House Reference, 2008 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 272 pages
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"My favorite popular word book of the year"
-William Safire, NY Times 6/22/2008

A fun, new approach to examining etymology!

Many common English words started out with an entirely different meaning than the one we know today. For example:

The word adamant came into English around 855 C.E. as a synonym for 'diamond,' very different from today's meaning of the word: "utterly unyielding in attitude or opinion."

Before the year 1200, the word silly meant "blessed," and was derived from Old English saelig, meaning "happy." This word went through several incarnations before adopting today's meaning: "stupid or foolish."

In Semantic Antics, lexicographer Sol Steinmetz takes readers on an in-depth, fascinating journey to learn how hundreds of words have evolved from their first meaning to the meanings used today.

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Semantic Antics

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Great new book for those that love words. Overstock offered a great price on this book hot off the presses. Came quickly and as described. Would definitely recommend Overstock and this book. Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Barbara Ann Kipfer is a lexicographer, archaeologist, and the author of more than 25 books, including "How it Happens, 4,000 Questions for Getting to Know Anyone and Everyone, 14,000 Things to Be Happy About," and "The Order of Things,"
Sol Steinmetz is a well-known lexicographer and former editor-in-chief at Random House Reference.

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