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Home Etymology


HorsefeathersHorsefeathers: And Other Curious Words by Charles Earle Funk
If readers have ever wondered why the candy is called butterscotch; why a certain Southern food is called a hushpuppy; or why log supports in a fireplace are known as andirons, or, sometimes, firedogs; then they'll be fascinated by the origins of the over 600 words discussed in "a book that gets curiouser and curiouser as it goes along" ("San Francisco Chronicle").


Thereby Hangs a TaleThereby Hangs a Tale: Stories of Curious Word Origins by Charles Earle Funk
English has hundreds of everyday words that originated or acquired their meanings in unusual ways. Dictionaries don't have the space to tell all the mysteries but Dr. Funk, with humor and insight, tells the strange and intriguing stories of hundreds of words and how they came to be a part of the language.


Tracks That SpeakTracks That Speak: The Legacy of Native American Words in North American Culture by Charles L. Cutler
Cutler offers 70 fascinating studies, each focusing on a particular word borrowed from a Native American language. He tells readers about the words themselves and about the things they stood--and stand--for, illuminating not only the roles these things played in traditional Indian societies but also the roles they continue to play in America today.


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