The Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories

The Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories

Book - 2002
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories describes the origins and sense development of thousands of core words of the English language; dates are given where recorded evidence of use has been found sourced by the ongoing research for the Oxford English Dictionary. Additional word historiesoutside this core group are included for words with a particularly interesting story to tell and links between words are given where these enhance the picture. A key feature of the book is the inclusion of a large number of well-known idioms with dates of original use with details of how and when they came about, eg happy as a sandboy, say it with flowers. Colourful popular beliefs are explored about words such as posh and snob, while insights are giveninto our social history revealed by language development, such as the connection in a Roman soldier's mind of salary with salt.The notion of 'relationships' is central and highlights the following:DT shared roots (e.g. stare and starve both from a base meaning 'be rigid')DT common ancestry (mongrel related to mingle and among)DT surprising commonality (wage and wed)DT typical formation (blab, bleat, chatter, gibber, all imitative of sounds)DT influence by association (cloudscape on the pattern of landscape)DT shared wordbuilding elements (hyperspace, hypersonic, hyperlink) with boxed information on the various meanings of the prefix in question.
Publisher: Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002.
ISBN: 9780198631217
Branch Call Number: Ref 422.03 Oxfo
Characteristics: viii, 559 p. ; 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Chantrell, Glynnis
Alternative Title: Word histories


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at DCPL

To Top