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Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Most readers who enjoy poking around in the histories of words will probably like this dictionary. Printed in a tiny, though extremely clear and readable font, and with its 916 pages of double-columns, it will provide many interesting hours of browsing and research to all lovers of language who like to know where the words we use came from, their evolution, and something of the submerged though potent freight of their connotations.
As might have been expected from a 'Concise Dictionary,' the derivations, which happily avoid the use of pesky abbreviations and symbols, are themselves fairly concise. Although some are much longer, most of them seem to run to an average of about a hundred or so words, but they should be found adequate enough for ordinary purposes. It quickly resolved a question I had about the word "ether" in Emily Dickinson, one that had stumped other etymological dictionaries.
Predictably, however, and like other current etymological dictionaries, the Barnhart Concise doesn't yet seem to have recognized the existence of the Sumerian language. For the word MAMMA (page 453), for example, we are given only the standard explanation and European cognates.
But, all in all, the Barnhart Concise succeeds admirably in achieving what it sets out to do : to give us concise though detailed and readable accounts of most of the words - 21,000 in all - that we are likely to be hunting for information about. The only real problem that I can see with this dictionary is that it isn't really a book, but is instead what the docile modern 'unit of consumption' has been conned into accepting as a book.Read more ›
Please note, that my assessment of the binding - it's stitched on mine - was made two years ago, hence the difference between tepi's (above) evaluation and mine.
Accompanying each word is the date of use, definition in the
preferred mode and multiple terms defined. Sample terms are:
o gimbals-connecting links (1577)
o mint-coin (1423)
This volume would be very valuable for writers, editors,
students and a wide spectrum of the general public.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent resource or just fun to read...if you're a word nerd.Published 7 months ago by Elizabeth Seckman
This was a birthday present for my wife who absolutely loved it. It is really well written and is addictive to read! But I would hardly call it concise!Published 11 months ago by Dr. Robert Zamenhof
Being a writer, this has been a book for which I have been looking.
It came through in a timely manner and in good condition -- just as advertised
An amazing book, if you are interested in words where they came from and meaning.Published 18 months ago by christopher arthur