What's in a Word: Fascinating Stories of More than 350 Everyday Words and Phrase  -     By: Webb Garrison
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What's in a Word: Fascinating Stories of More than 350 Everyday Words and Phrase

Thomas Nelson / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 248
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.43 (inches)
ISBN: 1595553002
ISBN-13: 9781595553003
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

Publisher's Description

Once upon a time…

Tying the knot actually involved tying a knot-not saying vows.  Meanwhile, a thinking cap wasn’t just a cute idea for schoolchildren, but an actual hat worn by scholars in the Middle Ages.  Oh, and when you make no bones about something, you should consider yourself lucky you aren’t choking on a chicken foot. 

What’s in a Word?  Answers the question it poses, more than three hundred times over.  You’ll learn which side of the bed is the wrong side, and why the word “nickname” is simply the product of slurred speech.  Webb Garrison’s etymological journey through the origins of words and phrases, both common and obscure, is sure to fascinate wordsmiths of every stripe.

 

Author Bio

Webb Garrison, formerly associate dean of Emory University and president of McKendree College, wrote more than 55 books, including Civil War Curiosities and Civil War Trivia and Fact Book. Before his death in 2000, Garrison lived in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.

Product Reviews

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  1. 2 Stars Out Of 5
    June 11, 2010
    Aquinnah Shores Book Reviews
    Okay, so Im submitting a review for a book from Thomas Nelson. First of all I requested a completely different book over 5 weeks ago and never got it, then I got a random book I never would have requested called: Whats in a Word by Webb Garrison. This book is about words. Yep, words and their origins. Kind of interesting and a fun book to leave out on a coffee table, or, ahem, the bathroom because its just light and kind of silly. I would never buy this book, but it was kind of fun to read and look through. The thing is, Im a reader. I love to read and this just isnt my thing. So, Id give this book 2 stars out of 5.
  2. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    May 6, 2010
    Charis
    What's in a Word? is a book designed to shed light on the origins of some of the cliched words and phrases of today, such as 'piggy bank', 'make no bones about it' and 'by the skin of one's teeth'. The more than 350 words are divided up into rough categories, each of which makes up a chapter.I had mixed reactions while reading this book. While much of it was interesting, other parts would have made me put it down, if I had not been reading it for reviewing purposes. The first chapter, 'Technology', was quite outdated, and the backgrounds of many of the words that Garrison chose were painfully obvious. If it had been one of the last chapters in the book, it would not have been such a big deal, but having it as the first chapter put a damper on the rest of the book, and makes the reader question the credibility of the other things he says. However, the persevering reader will find that the book gets quite a bit more interesting after the first chapter. I also appreciated that the author acknowledged the Biblical origins of some of the phrases we use. I would recommend this book to a friend, but only after suggesting that they skip the first chapter.~~~Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  3. 1 Stars Out Of 5
    April 29, 2010
    Caitlin
    Whats in a Word is a trip down entomology lane. When I agreed to review the book for Thomas Nelson, I knew that I had just crossed the state line into Nerdom. Then again, maybe I was already there. I like flipping through encyclopedias for the fun of it.Webb Garrison has been the go-to guy for entomology for years having written over 55 books, most of them dealing with words and random facts. This book was one of his last works and is the result of years of study. Garrison keeps the read entertaining as he pulls fact and history together to show how a word evolved over the years. Many words have lost their original meanings, like petticoat (okay, not an every-day word unless you write historical fiction), cruise, husband, wife, and lady. If youre going to go with the historical meaning of lady, it refers to a woman who kneads and bakes bread. It doesnt jive with our modern interpretation.Mad as a Hatter was an interesting entry probably because I had just gone to see Alice in Wonderland for the second time. Garrison explains how hatters suffered from mercury poisoning and had twitching muscles, a lurching gait, incoherent speech, and confused minds. In other words, exactly like Johnny Depps delightful character.The book is interesting but isnt the type that youd stash in your satchel for any sort of trip. It's more the type that you'd put up in the guest room or bookshelf and read bits and pieces when you feel like it. Disclosure: I dont get paid for my reviews for Thomas Nelson. I wish I did. Instead, I get free books and they get an honest opinion.
  4. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    April 7, 2010
    Lisa Peloquin
    From words as (seemingly) simple as bookmark, to phrases as obscure as wander from pillar to post, Whats in a Word offers fascinating insight into colloquialisms we use on a daily basis often without fully understanding them. Sometimes the meaning and background seem obvious, but in most instances, I was surprised at how off I really was. I personally learned quite a bit from this book that I received from Book Sneeze, Thomas Nelson Publishers.While perhaps too basic for an etymologist, your everyday reader will find this book interesting, entertaining and quite clever. It provides interesting insight into cultures throughout history and clarifies the meaning behind the words we use. I found the meaning to quite a few words and phrases that I use on a regular basis, but that I never fully understood.The book is separated into handy categories (Legal Speech, Sports and Recreation, Transportation and Travel, etc.), so its a handy book when you have a few minutes to kill. Even the topics I wouldnt generally be interested in had such fascinating little stories and background that I read the book from cover to cover without skipping anything.I fully enjoyed this book and would absolutely recommend it to others.
  5. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    April 1, 2010
    Nancy
    What's in a Word, written by Webb Garrison, is a fun way to learn thestories behind commonly used words and phrases.People of all ages will enjoy this book, because it is a quick read,and easily understood by almost all ages.A good reference for trivia buffs! What's the story behind words like: lingerie, vegetables, and rigmarole?Word origins from the time of Rome, to the 1400's, the 1600's, and up to today.What's the connection between the word tattoo, and Tahiti?You'll love finding out! I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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