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What's In a Word?: Fascinating Stories of More Than 350 Everyday Words and Phrases
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What's In a Word?: Fascinating Stories of More Than 350 Everyday Words and Phrases

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  30 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews

Have you ever woken up on the wrong side of the bed? Did you make it to that early morning meeting by the skin of your teeth? Was your heart in the right place when you proposed that idea, even though you couldn't hold a candle to the guy next to you who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth?

If you've ever wondered what that word or phrase you just heard means, What

Paperback, Reprint Edition, 256 pages
Published March 15th 2010 by Thomas Nelson (first published June 12th 2000)
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Nov 04, 2011 Tim rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
While studying Spanish in college, I became interested in the little idiomatic phrases (actually insults) that don't really translate into English. Even after years of classes, they're really all I can remember. If I get lost sometime in a Spanish-speaking country, all I could do is just insult the people trying to help me. It would be a disaster.

That's why when I heard about the book. What's in a Word?, I was pretty excited. Unfortunately it didn't take long for my excitement to deflate.

Mar 08, 2010 WifeMomKnitter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever wondered where the word “worsted” came from? This book has the answer to that question and a whole lot more words that are used in everyday life that we all probably don’t even give another thought.

“What’s in a Word” provides snippets of information on the origin of 350 words and phrases organized by chapters like “Household”, “Growing Things”, “Common Speech” and “Males and Females”, to name a few. This is a great coffee table book and is the companion to Webb Garrison’s “Why You
East Bay J
Etymology is cool, no matter what any of you have to say about it. I dig finding out the origin of words and phrases because it illustrates the migration of language and culture from one group to another. It reminds, too, of how complex and wonderful the English language is.

Garrison’s What’s In A Word? is an informative, educational trip through the origins of three hundred fifty words and phrases. Did you know the saxophone takes its name from its inventor, Joseph Sax? Or that the word “monkey”
Dec 21, 2014 Sherry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book to put you to sleep. I don't mean this in a derogatory way, either. I have always had an interest in English words and where they come from.

A whole lot of the words featured have histories you would expect. Then there comes a gem and you think, "I would have never thought that"!

I kept this book by my bedside and enjoyed several pages every night for a month. I am passing along to my grandson who also enjoys looking up obscure words.

You can tell this author did a lot of rese
Leslie (That Chick That Reads)
This is actually one of my favorite books right now! It’s crazy how our language and way of saying things has changed so much over the years. For example: Lingerie back in day was just a type of linen that was made for dresses but women liked the feel of it on their skin, thus now it became attached to intimate wear! It’s honestly insightful and very interesting! The explanations are short and to the point, which is why it kept me so interested! If you like books about the meaning of things or j ...more
Pam Brownlee
Mar 03, 2016 Pam Brownlee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A white bread approach to word meanings. More of a whole-wheat person myself.
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Webb Garrison, formerly associate dean of Emory University and president of McKendree College, wrote more than 55 books. Before his death in 2000, Garrison lived in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.
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