This is a lively and readable book about the history of words in the English language. It traces the growth of the great and wonderful Oxford English Dictionary. There are also some amusing stories about the first real English dictionary, by Samuel Johnson. It points out the origins reflected in our enormous English vocabulary. Above all, it stresses the liveliness of the language. Etymology as a school subject is rarely given: here is a kind of etymology that will spark interest in those uninitiated and appeal to all word-fans.