9780517580660 / 0517580667

Devious Derivations: Popular Misconceptions -- And More Than 1,000 True Origins of Common Words and P hrases


3.12 avg rating17 ratings by GoodReads

Publisher:Crown, 1993



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About the book:

In this marvelously entertaining book, word maven Hugh Rawson rounds up 1,000 words and phrases whose origins are not what you might expect. Some wiseacre (the word has nothing to do with land measure) may have told you that a tip is given to a waiter "to insure promptness," or that S.O.S. stands for "Save Our Ship," or that hooker is a tribute to the character of Joseph Hooker, the Civil War general. Like hundreds of popular etymologies, these oft-repeated accounts are just too good to be true. Now Mr. Rawson punctures the myths, gives the real derivations, and along the way provides many insights into how language works.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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