At the Wording Desk

Notes Nimble and Spry about the Origin of Words
  • Also available as: Dust Jacket Hardcover
  • Published: March 2016
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 398
  • Size: 5.5x8.5
  • ISBN: 9781490772141
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How, why, and whence does a word gain advent into the English vocabulary? That question has hundreds of thousands of vivid, sometimes funny answers. In At the Wording Desk, author Bill Casselman, one of Canada’s leading etymologists, shares a collection of some of the more colorful and interesting word origins. With a dose of lively humor, he offers an explanation of a plethora of words and gives the historical Latin and Greek roots and their meaning as spoken and written throughout history. In At the Wording Desk, he: explains that the word “travel” comes from trepalium, a Roman torture device; examines the origin of English words which end in the pejorative suffix –ard such as coward, dullard, lubbard, and sluggard; discuss how canopy first meant mosquito net; defines the meaning of wind-rose, advection, and a host of other interesting words; and tells why carpe diem does not mean “seize the day.” From thaumaturgy to clavis, xanthopterin , and more, Casselman offers an extensive look at the history of a variety of rare words.

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