DICTIONARY OF WORD AND PHRASE ORIGINS: Vol. II by William & Mary Morris

DICTIONARY OF WORD AND PHRASE ORIGINS: Vol. II

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mr. and Mrs. Morris seem to be newspaper people and this is roughly comparable to the first volume which appeared in 1962. We have been irritated into saying more than we might have otherwise by its chaotic selection and opinionated editorializing. Under names, you will for instance find Amelia and Arlene, but not Anne, and Eisenhower--not Roosevelt. The dictionary includes slang--so you will pick up some useful numbers like ""Adam's off ox"" and ""back to Blighty,"" but be told that Kerouac had ""the consummate bad taste to invent an origin"" for Beatnik. Since they're being modern, they certainly haven't given the main definition for the word sack which is not just a ""regional term for bag."" In fact they really don't like contemporary words--ambiance is familiar ""to the more precious among artists and writers"" and gas and gassers is only for teen-agers. It is cross-indexed: vulgar, ""cf. silly.

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 1967
Publisher: Harper & Row