Review: 2107 Curious Word Origins

2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions from White Elephants to Song Dance2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions
by Charles Earle Funk

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings, & Expressions / 0-88365-845-3

This book is fun for both reading from cover-to-cover and skimming as "bathroom material". The expressions are explained in plain, straightforward descriptions, with the author engagingly outlining the origins and usage of each unusual word or phrase.

I didn't recognize all of the phrases in this huge tome - some of them seem a little old, out-dated, or perhaps just not native to my region, like "hog on ice"! - but many of the words and phrases are so familiar that I was startled to realize that I'd never even bothered to wonder where they had come from before now. "Juggernaut" would be a good example: would you like to know where that word came from? Mr. Funk is here to save the day!

I love this book as a great resource for seeing the evolution of common words and terms. While most of this can probably be found online nowadays, you're unlikely to find them all compiled together in such an easily browsed source. I will admit that this probably isn't a cover-to-cover read, but it is useful for looking up terms and fun for browsing on a lazy afternoon.

~ Ana Mardoll

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