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Wicked Words: A Treasury of Curses, Insults, Put-Downs, and Other Formerly Unprintable Terms from Anglo-Saxon Times to the Present

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0517590898
ISBN-10: 0517590891
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The author of Crown's A Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk has fun at the other end of the language spectrum in this witty, anecdote-filled guide to the many impolite, insulting, and just plain "bad" words with which the English language is blessed. Line drawings.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 444 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (September 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517590891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517590898
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #975,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you've ever wondered where some of our "bad words" come from (or even what they meant!), then this is the book for you. Highly readable, extremely comprehensive, and always entertaining, Hugh Rawson's 'Wicked Words' is a must-have for anyone curious about language, society, history, and the fine art of insulting your fellow man. There's careful research (lays to rest the old rumour about 'For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge' being the source of a well-known dirty word) mixed with sly humor. A word of caution: Rawson covers even the most taboo words in the English language, so an open mind is a necessity. And you'll want to think twice before letting your kids look at it. Other than that, I say buy it and put it on the shelf next to your dictionary and your encylopedia!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "turkey5555" on March 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this text when it first came out and have never been sorry. I always find it useful for discovering the perfect word for a snappy come back, translating the cursings of my foreign friends, or brushing up on my linguistic history. This book never lets me down when it comes to reference or entertainment and I highly recommend it to everyone in hopes to create a more linguistically intelligent society.
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By Donald Glassman on June 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Did you know that the word "scofflaw" was invented by two contestants for a cash prize? That the word "piss" occurs in the King James Bible? I didn't, until I read this book. You're not wicked, and you're not educated, till you have too.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
I gave this book to a friend of mine for his birthday and pretty soon everyone at the party was flipping through it to learn where all "those" words actually come from. It worked out great!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jozef Imrich on April 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Kudos to wicked words, for being able to answer all kinds of bizarre questions!

I often go a-googling and discover some interesting facts. However, this book explains many qirks and eccentricities of English language in a posh bohemian style ;-)

Go Scabble!
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