"Word Origins is chock full of intriguing, accessible insights into how our language has evolved, mutated and otherwise morphed over thousands of years."--Pulse
"The erudite and winsome Liberman explains his work as an etymologist, which includes historical cases to crack and tall tales to debunk."--Chicago Tribune
"While Anatoly Liberman's study of the English language covers such interesting topics as sound-imitative words, compounds, coinages, and borrowings, it does so in a way that actually manages to be dense and scholarly and tongue-in-cheek and amusing, all at the same time."--Library Media Connection
"Those seriously interested in the origins of our language, who actively want to find out more about the way etymologists work, and who along the way don't mind taking in some sobering guidance on the pitfalls of ferreting out word histories."--World Wide Words
"As a sideline to his long ongoing work on a new etymological dictionary of English, Liberman enlightens general readers...about the challenges faced by etymologists in tracing word origins and evolved meanins. His explanations cover philosophical musings, historical debates in the field, and words imitating sounds."--Reference and Research Book News
"It may sound simple, but etymology -- the study of word origins -- is in fact murky and tedious, if unfailingly fascinating. Liberman's book is an examination of the process of determining how a word originated, and it shows how complex his craft can be."--Chicago Tribune
About the Author
is Professor of the Humanities at the University of Minnesota. For the past seventeen years, he has been working on a new etymological dictionary of English. He lives in Minneapolis.