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Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English
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Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  5 reviews
This etymological dictionary gives the origins of some 20,000 items from the modern English vocabulary, discussing them in groups that make clear the connections between words derived by a variety of routes from originally common stock. As well as giving the answers to questions about the derivation of individual words, it's a fascinating book to browse thru, & include ...more
Hardcover, 992 pages
Published November 1st 1977 by MacMillan Publishing Company, Inc. (NY) (first published January 1st 1958)
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A librus mirabilis! This is the book I've been waiting for for decades, not knowing its been available for the past 6 decades, I found in a charity shop this week. If you want to really wallow in words and their histories, this is the book to wander in, endlessly it seems. Cannot imagine how Partridge wrote it solo, as he evidently did. It's a monster delight of around 1000 pages in two columns. Wow!
Sweet! I love words. Christmas present to myself thanks to generous gift certificates from family. When I can't sleep this is a fun book to ponder. The only thing I'm worried about is the cr*p binding on this Burton-sized tome. I'm sure it will be falling apart within a decade--why would you bind a reference book like this?!
Endlessly fascinating and tremendously useful-- want to know why a word seems to have so many associations? Here it is, the map to our language.
G.C. Neff
My mother was very interested in the original meanings of words. After I got this book for her (the 1983 edition, which has the same ISBN as the 1988 volume, it seems), she and I both got into the etymology of many words. I soon bought a copy for myself, so that we could both use a copy in our discussions.

My only complaint is that this should have been a longer book, as this one was so fascinating to both of us. There are words we wished to look up, only to find that they weren't included. Still
for the word nerds. will increase your deployment of the etymological fallacy. that said, if one can make some kind of slick derridean/bakhtinian argument about how the fullness of the etymology is incorporated into the signifier via its historical semiotic chain, the alleged fallacy becomes a feature rather than a bug.
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