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Dictionary of Word Origins

A History of the Words, Expressions and Cliches We Use

by Jordan Almond

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Book Review

Answering the age-old question, "Why do we say it?" this handy dictionary gives the intriguing origins of hundreds of everyday words and expressions. How did lollipops get their name? (In the northern part of England, "lolly" means "tongue.") What is "long" doing in the word "longshoreman"? (When ships were unloaded, the sailors passed the goods from their ships to the men 'long the shore.) Why do we pass the buck? (In an old English card game, one would pass a jackknife, or "buck," to show whose turn it was to chip in.) Useful for reference and fun just for browsing, Dictionary of Word Origins is also a great way to expand vocabulary and enjoy doing it. Jordan Almond is professor emeritus of English at Farmdale University.

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