Adult Nonfiction 422 K
Summary: Over the centuries, English words have drifted from their original purposes and acquired vastly different meanings. Consider the word "bad," which today means "great." Or "tryst," now a romantic liaison, in the England of 500 years ago "a fair for black cattle, horses, and sheep."Author Jeffrey Kacirk, a man intrigued by words, has sifted through mountains of discarded meanings to arrive at the almost 1,500 entries in this fascinating romp through the ever-changing world of lexicography. His goal is to "leave the reader with a sense of where many modern usages may have come from, or in some cases, have strayed..." Study the altered meanings in this fun book and you'll be able to "razzle-dazzle" (originally, a daylong drinking bout) your friends and acquaintances.Kacirk has collected current words and provided earlier definitions and their sources ... alphabetically, beginning with abandon ('to banish, to drive away' -- John Phin, 1902) and ending with a zig-zag ('drunk' -- Edward Fraser and John Gibbons, 1925). Kacirk's book is a flip-through find, perfect for everyone from lay word nerds to top-dollar scholars. ---Dave Ford, San Francisco Chronicle
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