The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories
Merriam-Webster, 1991 - 526 pages
A gold mine of fascinating word histories! This engaging and informative book reveals the origins of 1,500 words from "abigail" to "zombie", tracing in terms from the mythology of ancient Greece to the comic strips of the 20th century. This delightful volume will help you discover how a skimpy bathing suit came to be called a "bikini" and what "serendipity" has to do with Horace Walpole.
adjective akin alter American ancient animal appeared applied associated assumed became become began bird body borrowed called character comes common denote derived describe designate developed dialect earlier earliest early England English word especially etymology example extended fact French gave German give given Greek hand head horse influenced Italian Italy John kind King known language late later Latin letter literally living meaning meant Medieval Middle English Middle French Modern English nineteenth century noun Old English Old French origin past person phrase play popular prob probably refer rise Roman seems sense seventeenth century short similar simply sixteenth century sound Spanish spelling story suggested taken term thing tion took translation turn United usually verb writing written
Page 6 - So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of " agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the " gnostic " of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant...