Praise for the previous editions:
"A feast for phrase detectives...that will enliven debates and illuminate issues."—William Safire
"This marvelous reference has grown by about a third from its predecessor...will appeal to researchers...having [this information] in one book is hard to beat."—American Reference Books Annual
"...couple[s] etymology with humor...recommended..."—Booklist
"...diverse...highly readable...Linguists, historians, and word connoisseurs will appreciate this resource...will add value to any collection supporting language studies...Highly recommended."—Choice
The most comprehensive single-volume reference of its kind, The Facts On File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, Fourth Edition contains definitions and origins of more than 15,000 words and expressions. This encyclopedia features anecdotes and information on the development of a wide range of words, including slang, proverbs, animal and plant names, place names, nicknames, historical expressions, foreign language expressions, and phrases from literature. The emphasis throughout is on words and expressions whose origins are not adequately explained, or not addressed at all, in standard dictionaries. Approximately 2,500 new entries have been added to this edition, ranging from "Aardsma" to "zounds."
Other new entries include:
- All she wrote
- I.E.D. (Improved Explosive Device)
- Power breakfast
- Read my lips
- Rome wasn't built in a day
- Soup Nazi
- Spider hole
- We who are about to die salute you.
About the Author(s)
Robert Hendrickson is the author of more than 25 books, including The Facts On File Dictionary of American Regionalisms for Facts On File. He lives in Peconic, New York.