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Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to Do with Pigs - and Other Fascinating Facts about the Language from Canada’s Word Lady

Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to Do with Pigs          
Format Softcover OR Format Hardcover
Catalogue No. 978-0-19-542708-0   Catalogue No. 0-19-542440-9
Pages 224   Pages 224
Language English only   Language English only
Price $16.95   Price $24.95
  Add to Cart     Add to Cart

Written by Katherine Barber.
Published by Oxford University Press, 2006.


Did you know that the word “travel” is derived from an instrument of torture? That “tragedy” originally was something to do with goats? That “grammar” and “glamour” started out as one and the same word? These and many other fascinating and surprising tidbits about the history of words are revealed in this delightful volume, many culled from interviews first aired on CBC Radio 1, featuring the “Word Lady,” Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Katherine Barber.

In the lively, witty, and entertaining style that has won her so many fans in Canada and around the world, Katherine Barber presents over 500 intriguing and entertaining little histories of some of the most common (and interesting) words in the English language.

The words are arranged thematically by season. Readers can frolic through the many words from the barnyard, the garden, and the cottage in the Spring, feast on Summer’s fruits and all of the colourful stories to be found there, gear up for back-to-school by learning the truth behind algebra, grammar, and dunces, and discover the real reason that Christmas shopping is always such a feverish pursuit. Along the way, you’ll follow words back through Old English, medieval French, Anglo-Saxon, ancient Greek, Latin, Arabic, as well as the languages of China, the Indian subcontinent, and Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.

With its accessible conversational style and captivating content, Katherine Barber’s Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to Do with Pigs is a book readers will want to dip into time and again — that is, if they can ever put it down.

From the same author: Only in Canada, You Say: A Treasury of Canadian Language

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This page last modified: October 16, 2008

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