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  • Almond, Jordan, Dictionary of Word Origins -- A Dictionary of the Words, Expressions, and Clichés We Use. Seacaucus, New Jersey, Carol Publishing Group, 1996.
  • American Heritage Dictionary, Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1993.
Includes essay by Calvert Watkins on Indo-European languages.
  • Ammer, Christine, Cool Cats, Topy Dogs, and Other Beastly Expressions, New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999
Reviewed in our newsletter.
  • Ammer, Christine, Fighting Words, Lincolnwood, NTC Publishing Group, 1989.
  • Ammer, Christine, Have a Nice Day -- No Problem!  A Dictionary of Clichés.  New York, Penguin Books, 1993.
  • Apperson, G.L., Dictionary of Proverbs, Ware, Wordsworth Editions, 1996.
  • Atchison, Jean, Linguistics, London, Teach Yourself Books, 1992.
  • Ayto, John, The Dictionary of Foreign Words in English, Ware, Wordsworth Editions, Ltd., 1995.
  • Ayto, John, Dictionary of Word Origins.   New York, Arcade Publishing, 1990.
  • Ayto, John and Simpson, John, The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang.  New York, Oxford University Press, 1996.
  • Barber, Richard, Riches, Ann, A Dictionary of Fabulous Beasts, Woodbridge, The Boydell Press, 1996.
  • Barnes, William, Tiw; Or, a View of the Roots and Stems of the English as a Teutonic Tongue, London, John Russell Smith, 1862.
  • Barney, Stephen A., Word-Horde, An Introduction to Old English Vocabulary, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1977.
  • Barnhart, Robert K., Dictionary of Etymology: The Origins of American English Words.  New York, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1995.
  • Berent, Irwin, and Evans, Rod, More Weird Words, New York, Berkley Books, 1995.
  • Berlitz, Charles, Native Tongues, London, Granada, 1983.
  • Bierce, Ambrose, The Devil's Dictionary, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Birchfield, R.W., The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage, Third Edition, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1996.
  • Blevins, Winfred, Dictionary of the American West, New York, Wordsworth Reference, 1993.
  • Bodmer, Frederick, The Loom of Language.   New York, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1985.
  • Bowler, Peter, A Superior Person’s Book of Words, Boston, David R. Godine, 1985.
  • Bright, William, 1500 California Place Names, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1998.
  • Brohaugh, William, English Through the Ages, From Old English to Modern-Day Slang, a Word-by-Word Birth Record of Thousands of Interesting Words, Cincinnati, Writer's Digest Books, 1998.
  • Brown, Hugh and Margaret, A Speller's Companion.  Wigton, England, Brown and Brown, 1992 (ISBN 1 870596 25 0).
  • Bryson, Bill, Made in America.   New York, William Morrow and Company, 1994.
  • Bryson, Bill, Notes from a Small Island, New York, Avon Books, 1996.
  • Buck, Carl Darling, A Dictinary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages, Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 1988.
Facsimile of 1949 edition. A thorough tabulation of the relationships between Indo-European words. A mind-boggling achievement!
  • Byrne, Josepha, Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure and Preposterous Words Gathered from Numerous Diverse and Authoritative Sources by Mrs. Byrne, Secaucus, New Jersey, Citadel Press and University Books, 1974.
  • Cacirk, Jeffrey, Forgotten English, New York, William Morrow and Co., Inc., 1997.
  • Chalker, Sylvia, and Weiner, Edmund, The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammer, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994.
  • Ciardi, John, A Browser’s Dictionary and Native’s Guide to the Unknown American Language, New York, Harper and Row, 1980.
  • Clayborne, Robert, The Roots of English, New York, Times Books, 1989.
A dictionary not of words but of the roots of Indo-European words. Invaluable and surprisingly fun.
  • Coghlan, Ronan, et al., Book of Irish Names, First, Family and Place Names, New York, Sterling Publishing, 1989.
  • Consumer Guide, ed., The Ultimate Baby Name Book. Lincolnwood, Illinois, Publications International, Ltd., 1994.
  • Coombe, Allen, Dictionary of Plant Names, Oregon, Timber Press, 1985.
  • Crystal, David, An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Language and Languages, Harmondsworth, Penguin Books, 1994.
  • Dickson, Paul, Word, London, Arena, 1983.
  • Dunbar, Robin, Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language, Harvard University Press, 1996.
  • Ehrlich, Eugene, What's in a Name, New York, Henry Holt and Company, 1999.
  • Freeman, Morton, A New Dictionary of Eponyms, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1987.
  • Funk, Charles Earle and Charles Earle, Jr., Horsefeathers and Other Curious Words.  New York, Harper & Row, 1986.
  • Funk, Charles Earle, 2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions, from White Elephants to A Song and Dance, New York, Galahad Books, 1993.
  • Funk, Wilfred, Word Origins, An Exploration and History of Words and Language, New York, Wings Books, 1998 (reprint of 1950 edition).
  • Garrison, Webb, Why You Say It, Nashville, Rutledge Hill Press, 1992.
  • Grambs, David, Did I Say Something Wrong?, New York, Plume, 1993.
  • Grambs, David, The Endangered English Dictionary, New York, W.W. Norton and Co., 1994.
  • Hanks, Patrick, and Hodges, Flavia, A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Hanks, Patrick, and Hodges, Flavia, A Concise Dictionary of First Names.  New York, Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Harrap’s Five-Language Dictionary: English-French-German-Italian-Spanish, Bromley, Harrap Books, 1991.
  • Hoad, T.F., The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology.  Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1986.
  • Holt, Alfred H., Phrase and Word Origins, A Study of Familiar Expressions, New York, Dover Publications, 1961.
  • Hughes, Geoffrey, Words in Time.   Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1988.
  • Humez, Alexander & Nicholas, A B C Et Cetera, The Life and Times of the Roman Alphabet, David R. Godine, Publisher, Inc., Boston, 1985.
Reviewed in the Take Our Word For It weekly newsletter (available in the ListBot archives).
  • Issil, Olivia, When a Loose Cannon Flogs a Dead Horse, There’s the Devil to Pay, Seafaring Words in Everyday Speech, Camden, Maine, Internationa Marine, 1996.
  • Jennings, Gary, World of Words, The Personality of Language, New York, Atheneum, 1984.
Lacking a word for home, do the French also lack the notion of a home?
  • Jones, Jack, Rhyming Cockney Slang, Bristol, Abson Books, 1985.
  • Kennedy, John, Word Stems, A Dictionary, New York, Soho Press, 1996.
  • King, Dean, et al., A Sea of Words, a Lexicon and Companion for Patrick O’Brian’s Seafaring Tales, New York, Henry Holt and Company, 1997.
  • Lipton, James, An Exaltation of Larks, Harmondsworth, Penguin Books, 1993.
  • Lock, Stock & Barrel ! Familiar Sayings and Their Meanings, Past Times, Oxford, 1998.
  • Lyman, Darryl, Dictionary of Animal Words and Phrases, New York, Johnathan David Publishers, 1994.
  • MacDonnell, Arthur, A Sanskrit Grammar for Students, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1962.
  • McCrum, Robert, Cran, William, and MacNeil, Robert, The Story of English.  New York, Penguin Books, 1992.
  • Menninger, Karl, Number Words and Number Symbols, A Cultural History of Numbers, New York, Dover Publications, 1969.
  • Merriam-Webster, ed., The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories.  Springfield, Massachusetts, Merriam-Webster Inc. Publishers, 1991.
  • Metcalf, Allan, and Barhart, David K., America in So Many Words, New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997
  • Mills, A.D., A Dictionary of English Place Names.  Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1991.
  • Monier-Williams, Monier, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Etymologically and Philologicaly Arranged with Special Reference to Cognate Indo-European Languages, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1993.
The greatest ever Sanskrit-English dictionary, first published in 1899.
  • Moorwood, James, The Pocket Oxford Latin Dictionary, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Morris, William and Mary, Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins.  New York, HarperCollins, 1988.
  • Morton, Mark, Cupboard Love, A Dictionary of Culinary Curiosities.  Winnipeg, Bain & Cox, 1996.
Reviewed in the Take Our Word For It weekly newsletter (available in the ListBot archives).
  • Moser, Barry, Word Mysteries and Histories, from Quiche to Humble Pie, Boston, Hougton Mifflin Co., 1974.
  • Moss, Norman, British/American Language Dictionary, Lincolnwood, Passport Books, 1986.
  • Neaman, Judith S. and Silver, Carole G., The Book of Euphemism, Ware, Wordsworth Editions, Ltd., 1990.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, on CD-ROM, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994.
  • Partridge, Eric, Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English.  New York, Greenwich House, 1983.
  • Pickering, David, et al., Brewer’s Dictionary of Twentieth Century Phrase and Fable, Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1991.
  • Potter, Edgar R., Cowboy Slang, Phoenix, Golden West Publishers, 1995.
  • Rawson, Hugh, Devious Derivations.   New York, Crown Publishers, Inc., 1994.
  • Rawson, Hugh, A Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Double Talk, London, MacDonald and Co., 1981.
  • Rees, Nigel, Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins.  London, Cassell Publishers, Ltd., 1987.
  • Room, Adrian, Dunces, Gourmands Petticoats, 1,300 words Whose Meanings Have Changes Through the Ages, Lincolnwood, NTC Publishing Group, , 1997 (reprint of 1986 edition).
  • Room, Adrian, NTC’s Classical Dictionary, The Origins of the Names of Characters in Classical Mythology, Lincolnwood, National Textbook Company, 1992.
  • Room, Adrian, NTC's Dictionary of Changes in Meanings, Lincolnwood, National Textbook Company, 1991 (reprint of 1986 edition).
  • Room, Adrian, Trade Name Origins, Lincolnwood, National Textbook Company, 1982.
  • Shipley, Joseph T., Dictionary of Word Origins, Ames, Iowa, Littlefield, Adams and Co., 1959.
  • Shipley, Joseph T., The Origins of English Words.  Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.
  • Sholl, Andrew, Bloomers, Biros & Wellington Boots, How the Names Became the Words, Oxford, Past Times, 1996.
Reviewed in the Take Our Word For It weekly newsletter (available in the ListBot archives).
  • Skeat, Walter W., The Concise Dictionary of English Etymology, Ware, Wordsworth Editions, Ltd., 1995.
  • Smith’s Bible Dictionary, Uhrichsville, Barbour and Company, 1987, appears to be a facsimile reprint of an older book.
  • Soukhanov, Anne, Word Watch: The Stories Behind the Words of Our Lives, New York, Henry Holt and Co., 1985.
  • The National Gardening Association Dictionary of Horticulture, Harmondsworth, Penguin Books, 1994.
  • Thomas, Clayton L., Tabor’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, Philadelphia, F.A. Davis Co., 1997.
  • Train, John, Valsalva’s Maneuver, Mots Justes and Indespensible Terms, New York, Harper and Row, 1989.
  • Unknown Author, Why Do We Say It?   Seacaucus, New Jersey, Book Sales, Inc., 1985.
  • Urdang, Lawrence, Three-Toed Sloths an Seven League Boots, A Dictionary of Numeric Expressions, New York, Barnes and Noble Books, 1986.
  • Vanoni, Marvin, I've Got Goose Pimples.  New York, William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1989.
  • Vernon, Ann, and Patton, Kevin T., Study Guide to Accompany Human Physiology, Foundations and Frontiers, St. Louis, Mosby-Yearbook, Inc., 1993.
Contains anatomical term etymologies.
  • Walmsley, Jane, Brith-Think, Ameri-Think, A Transatlantic Survival Guide, Harmondsworth, Penguin Books, 1987.
  • Watkins, Calvert, American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1985.
  • Webber, Elizabeth and Feinsilber, Mike, Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions, Massachusetts, Merriam-Webster, 1999.
  • Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, New York, Gramercy Books, 1994.
  • Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, fully revised and updated. New York, Barnes & Noble Books, 1996.
  • Webster’s Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged, Many Supplementary Vocabularies and Articles with Atlas of the World, This Dictionary is Not Published by the Original Publishers of Webster’s Dictionary or by Their Successors, publishing information unavailable as first pages of book missing, estimated date of publication is the late 1940s.
Huge dictionary containing good etymological information; found by Mike in a junk shop and purchased for $2.00!.
  • Weekley, Ernest, An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English.  New York, Dover Publications, 1967.
  • Weekley, Ernest, The Romance of Words.  New York, Dover Publications, Inc., 1961.
  • Wells, Diana, 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names.  Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1997.
Reviewed in the Take Our Word For It weekly newsletter (available in the ListBot archives).
  • Williams, Raymond, Key Words, A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, New York, Oxford University Press, 1983.
  • Winchester, Simon, The Professor and the Madman, New York, Harper Perennial, 1999.
Reviewed in the weekly newsletter.

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