978-0-393-31606-3 / 0393316068

The Endangered English Dictionary: Bodacious Words Your Dictionary Forgot

by Grambs, David

Publisher:W. W. Norton & Company



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About the book:

Sometimes it seems that there are as many collections of archaic words as there are archaic words. Most of them are amusing in their own esoteric sort of way, but few aim for more than entertainment value. David Grambs watches over words gone (or going) by in the same way that the National Wildlife Federation watches over grizzly bears and timber wolves. He would like his readers to think of his Endangered English Dictionary as "a constant reminder of the words that could have been, that fell through the cracks. Or--" he challenges, "if you and enough others make imaginative use of this book--that still could become part of our everyday usage." Toward this goal, Grambs has chosen "common-use, nontechnical words," and he has arranged his book as a two-way dictionary.

So if you are looking for a compact way to describe something--a flower, say--that smells strongest at night, try "noctuolucent." If you were a delicate blossom, or even a whole "tuzzymuzzy" (a bunch of flowers), you too might wish to avoid the "sizzard" (unbearably humid heat) of summer days. --Jane Steinberg

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