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Coined By God: Words and Phrases That First Appear in English Translations of the Bible Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (February 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393020452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393020458
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From its first vernacular translations, the Bible has been a record of the development of the English language. Such indispensable words as fisherman, cucumber, liberty, puberty, crime and conscience all made their entry into the written language in its pages, while deathless feats of biblical phrasemaking like "apple of his eye" and "no man can serve two masters" still pepper speeches everywhere. Word lovers and Bible scholars alike will delight in this compendium of the Bible's bequests to the English language. Malless and McQuain, authors of Coined by Shakespeare, include 150 detailed, sprightly entries, organized alphabetically, that provide etymologies of words and phrases, a record of their appearances and variations in Bible versions from the first English translation by William Wycliffe in 1382 to the King James Version, as well as classic and contemporary examples of their usage in secular contexts.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

An account of 150 locutions from genesis to salt of the earth that debuted in English translations of the Bible; from a professor of education and a researcher for the New York Times Magazine's "On Language" column, respectively.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Valasek on December 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you find reading dictionaries, reference books or history books fascinating, you may like this little book. It truly is interesting to me how much the English language owes to the realm of religious writing. In all fairness, interesting not fascinating, hence the rating.

The text does not read like a dictionary so it isn't too hard to comprehend and most readers will polish this off in a couple weeks even at a liesurely pace. However, I would classify this book as a reference book since that may be where you find the most use for it and not something you just sit down and read, unless you are a trivia buff of sorts.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Larry Mark MyJewishBooksDotCom on May 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
McQuain, a former researcher for William Safire's weekly On Language column in The Sunday New York Times, with Mr. Malless, have compiled a book of words in English that first appeared and were coined for the King James English translation version of the Bible. Words like Adoption, Treasure, Appetite, Liberty, First Fruits, Novelty, Nurse, Busybody, Land of Nod, "holier-than-thou", Crime, Cucumber (cucumeres), Ivory Tower, botch, brother's keeper, sex, "coat of many colors", bundle, bloodthirsty, and Sprinkler are included. "Left wing", I had thought came from the French National Assembly. But I was wrong, it was created as a term during the translation of 1 Maccabees 9:16. "Stiff-necked" was also coined for the KJV (Act 7:51). The word "irrevocable", was coined in order to translate a sentence in Ezekiel, derived from Latin for "may not be called back again." The word was also briefly coined for the bible. A fun quick read to review and review for any lexicon irregular.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first checked Coined by God out of the library. However, I quickly realized what an awesome reference it was, both for bible scholars and for wordsmiths as well. Not content to simply peruse the library's copy over and over again, I decided to purchase my own so that I could spend more time with the words and phrases of our language that had their origins with the bible. Also, I wanted it as a reference book as well!
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