THE DICTIONARY OF WORD AND PHRASE ORIGINS by Will & Mary Morris

THE DICTIONARY OF WORD AND PHRASE ORIGINS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is another word book, arranged alphabetically, containing more than 3,000 ""stories behind everyday words and expressions"". Such compilations will always be fascinating to the word-conscious who after even a perfunctory perusal will know that no self-respecting astronaut has ever or will ever utter ""A-O.K."", that ""podiatry"" is etymologically superior to ""chiropody"", that ""pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis"" has beat out ""antidisestablishmentarianism"". Lots of good, clean fun here. The Morrises claim, however, that this is an all-purpose reference book, welcome on the desk and in the ""school classroom"". With the last one might take exception. There seems to be almost no point of view here and when one is stated it is most unscholarly. ""Complected"" is dismissed as ""simply illiterate"" with no allusion to levels of usage, no reference to authorities, no cognizance of differing dictionaries. Since there are no stated criteria for inclusion, this may prove disappointing as a reference book. It is by no means a book for the scholar.

Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 1962
Publisher: Harper & Row