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The Secret Life of Words: How English Became English
 
 
Author
Henry Hitchings.
Publisher Picador  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8.25 x 5.45 x 0.9 inches
ISBN 9780312428563
Pages/Publication Date 440/2009
Daedalus Item Code 21714
This item is not available.
Description
"This historical tour of the English lexicon considers words as etymological fossils of past dreams and traumas, revealing the preoccupations of the ages that produced them. The 19th century's cult of fine feelings gave currency to sensibility and physiognomy; popery and libertine sprang from the religious skepticism of the 1600s. Many such relics began as imports: centuries of Anglophone empire building have occasioned borrowings from some 350 languages, including Arabic (sash) and Sanskrit (pundit). [Words for] trade is a constant thread: tycoon comes from taikun, a Japanese honorific picked up on Commodore Matthew Perry's 1850s mission to open the ports of Japan."The New Yorker
 
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