A grab bag of 150+ eponyms and toponyms and their origins, some loosely grouped into categories such as sports and...

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A CHARTREUSE LEOTARD IN A MAGENTA LIMOUSINE: and Other Words Named After People and Places

A grab bag of 150+ eponyms and toponyms and their origins, some loosely grouped into categories such as sports and recreation, animals, foods, clothing and fashion; others are lumped together in groups whose organizing principle is obscure (one section includes ""gadget,"" ""artesian,"" ""bungalow,"" ""lobby,"" ""attic,"" ""china,"" ""cheap,"" ""capitol,"" etc.). Unusable as a reference book since there is no index, the volume is hard to read straight through; at the beginning of each entry is an jolting, redundant icon (a globe for a toponym, a portrait for an eponym). Striving mightily to involve readers, the writing is often jejune, with many sentences beginning, ""Did you realize. . ."" or ""You might be surprised to learn. . . ."" Contrary to standard dictionary practice, proper nouns are not capitalized when used as entry titles, and the etymology and lexicology are shaky in spots: The town of Taranto was not named for the tarantula spider, but vice versa; the word ""dodger"" could hardly have come from Dickens's character ""The Artful Dodger,"" since it was in use at least 250 years earlier; ""gauze"" is universally defined as a thin material, not ""thick"" as stated here.

Pub Date: May 15, 1995

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 76

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995