ISBN is

978-0-471-22764-9 / 9780471227649

Dubious Doublets: A Delightful Compendium of Unlikely Word Pairs of Common Origin, from Aardvark/Porcelain to Zodiac/Whiskey

by

Publisher:Wiley

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

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About the book:

Take an enchanting tour through the tangled roots of English

Quick, what is the common denominator of the following words: onion, twinkle, travel, squad, foist, semester, October, noon, and dicker? By the time you finish reading Dubious Doublets, the answer will be as obvious to you as the relationship between lettuce and galaxy, nostril and thrill, or witch and vegetable!

This surprising, enlightening, and entertaining guide uses a delightfully innovative approach to explore the evolution, lineage, and proliferation of words. Beginning with pairs of seemingly unrelated modern English wordsdubious doubletsthe author traces them back through the millennia to reveal not only their common roots, but also the living thoughts that form the true links between these improbable pairs.

Youll discover, for example, why the words flamenco and flamingo are both related to the complexions of the Dutch, how the biblical son of Isaac is related to a French garment and a Halloween decoration, and what going berserk has to do with playing hopscotch. You'll also uncover the common roots of such seemingly incompatible dyads as bully/friar, muscle/mouse, and everyones favorite, feather/hippopotamus.

Richly supplemented with cultural anecdotes, literary excerpts, and lively discussions on a broad variety of relevant topicsnot to mention a series of whimsical illustrations that offer intriguing clues to word originsDubious Doublets is, quite simply, a word buffs delight.

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