500 Years of New Words: The Fascinating Story of How, When, by Bill Sherk PDF

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By Bill Sherk

ISBN-10: 1550025252

ISBN-13: 9781550025255

500 Years of recent phrases takes you on an exhilarating trip in the course of the English language from the times ahead of Shakespeare to the 1st decade of the twenty first century. all of the major entries are prepared no longer alphabetically via in chronological order in response to the earliest recognized 12 months that every observe used to be published or written down. starting with "America" in 1507 and spanning the centuries to "Marsiphobiphiliac" in 2004 (a one that would like to visit Mars yet is petrified of being marooned there), this booklet will be opened at any web page and the reader will find a magnificent array of linguistic delights. In different phrases, this ebook is unputdownable (the major access for 1947). If Shakespeare have been alive this day, he may purchase this publication.

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Additional info for 500 Years of New Words: The Fascinating Story of How, When, and Why Hundreds of Your Favourite Words First Entered the English Language

Example text

Finally he ordered his men to build a giant causeway from the mainland to the island, across which his troops could march to the very walls of the city itself. After ferocious fighting, the city fell. Alexander and his army are no longer there, but the causeway still is, making the City of Tyre a twenty-three-hundred-year-old peninsula. 1539 PARASITE The word parasite, from the Greek para, “beside,” and sitos, “food,” originally applied to people who sponged off others for their food and other means of livelihood, but particularly food.

Even today we speak of someone being blackballed from a club. 1558 TWANGLE The verb twang, “to pluck a stringed instrument,” first appeared in print in 1542, when Henry VIII (who, some say, composed “Greensleeves”) sat 45 B ILL S HERK on the throne of England. Sixteen years later, in the year that Queen Mary died and left the throne to her half-sister Elizabeth, the more melodious synonym twangle joined the English language. Both words are examples of musical onomatopoeia, along with pluck, strum, pick and plunk, all of which apply to stringed instruments.

Both words are examples of musical onomatopoeia, along with pluck, strum, pick and plunk, all of which apply to stringed instruments. Pluck and pick go back to the Middle Ages, but strum and plunk are relative newcomers to English. Strum first appeared in print on the eve of the American Revolution, in 1775, and plunk had its debut thirty years later, in 1805. 1559 SUPERCELESTIAL When William Cunningham first used this word in 1559 (“… the marvellous course and sundry motions, of the supercelestiall bodies”), he was referring to things that he believed were situated above the canopy of the heavens — in other words, above the sky itself.

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500 Years of New Words: The Fascinating Story of How, When, and Why Hundreds of Your Favourite Words First Entered the English Language by Bill Sherk


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