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Devious derivations : popular misconceptions, and more than 1,000 true origins of common words and phrases

Author: Hugh Rawson
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
In this new book, word maven Hugh Rawson brings you a marvelously entertaining roundup of 1,000 spurious etymologies, then enlightens you with their genuine counterparts. Some wiseacre (which, by the way, has nothing to do with land measure) may have told you that a tip is something you give a waiter "to insure promptness," or that James I once knighted a remarkable side of beef, saying, "Arise, Sir Loin," but like
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Genre/Form: Dictionaries
Dictionnaires Humour
Dictionnaires
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Rawson, Hugh.
Devious derivations.
New York : Crown Publishers, ©1994
(OCoLC)891908497
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Hugh Rawson
ISBN: 0517580667 9780517580660 0517881284 9780517881286
OCLC Number: 26674222
Description: 245 pages ; 24 cm
Responsibility: Hugh Rawson.
More information:

Abstract:

In this new book, word maven Hugh Rawson brings you a marvelously entertaining roundup of 1,000 spurious etymologies, then enlightens you with their genuine counterparts. Some wiseacre (which, by the way, has nothing to do with land measure) may have told you that a tip is something you give a waiter "to insure promptness," or that James I once knighted a remarkable side of beef, saying, "Arise, Sir Loin," but like hundreds of oft-repeated accounts of word origins, they're just too good to be true. People, it seems, are etymologizing creatures, and if a certain lexical lineage is unclear, they are sure to invent one. If you hear that pumpernickel was named by Napoleon Bonaparte, who, upon being served the dark German bread, derided it as "pain pour Nicol" (bread for his horse, Nicol), you can take it with a grain of salt (which since 1647 has been making questionable tales, like questionable meat, more palatable).

With his third book, Hugh Rawson pulls off the literary equivalent of a hat trick (which is original not to ice hockey, it turns out, but to cricket).

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