The Story Behind the Word

Morton S. Freeman, Author Isi Press $14.95 (294p) ISBN 978-0-89495-046-9
For inveterate browsers who can't look up one entry in an encyclopedia without becoming immersed in others, this new book from word-maven Freeman (A Treasury for Word Lovers) will provide hours of informative pleasure. His format is straightforward, discussing the etymologies or, often, the possible though unconfirmed lineages of selected words from abracadabra to zenith. But as he delves into biography, literature, languages and social history to explain how the words and their meanings have changed through time, one avenue or aside inevitably leads to another. A single entry may proceed logically from vanilla to chocolate to cocoa to coconut; metaphorically, from candidate to ambition; or, surreally, from maroon to cimarron to chestnut. Bet you can't read just one. November
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
Paperback - 294 pages - 978-0-89495-047-6
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