Wordcatcher: An Odyssey into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 15, 2010 - Reference - 336 pages
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Who knew that the great country of Canada is named for a mistake? How about "bedswerver," the best Elizabethan insult to hurl at a cheating boyfriend? By exploring the delightful back stories of the 250 words in Wordcatcher, readers are lured by language and entangled in etymologies. Author Phil Cousineau takes us on a tour into the obscure territory of word origins with great erudition and endearing curiosity. The English poet W. H. Auden was once asked to teach a poetry class, and when 200 students applied to study with him, he only had room for 20 of them. When asked how he chose his students, he said he picked the ones who actually loved words. So too, with this book — it takes a special wordcatcher to create a treasure chest of remarkable words and their origins, and any word lover will relish the stories that Cousineau has discovered.
 

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Contents

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About the author (2010)

PHIL COUSINEAU is a freelance writer, filmmaker, photographer, art and literary tour leader, creativity consultant, flâneur, and nyctophiliac, a lifelong lover of the night. Cousineau has published over thirty books, which have been translated into numerous languages; earned twenty-five documentary film writing credits; and contributed to 50 other books. His previous books include Wordcatcher, which was named one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by NPR, and The Painted Word. Currently, he is the host and cowriter of the much-acclaimed television series “Global Spirit,” which plays nationwide on PBS, and worldwide at www.globalspirittv.com. Global Spirit offers insights into some of humankind’s deepest eternal questions, tracing our collective journey in the timeless quest for truth, wisdom and understanding. Each program highlights the trans-cultural, transcendent dimensions of human inquiry, from the ancient or indigenous wisdom traditions to the latest advances in science. Global Spirit offers a glimmer of what's possible. Phil also guest-hosts the radio show New Dimensions. He lives with his family in the land of nighthawks, North Beach, San Francisco. For more information about Cousineau’s books, films, lectures, workshops, writing consultations, and art and literary tours, visit www.philcousineau.net.

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