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May We Borrow Your Language?: How English Steals Words From All Over the World

Philip Gooden

$19.99

Paperback

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Head of Zeus
08 November 2017
linguistics; Historical & comparative linguistics
A richly entertaining exploration of the origins of the words that English has borrowed from other languages over its 1500-year history.

The English language that is spoken by one billion people around the world is a linguistic mongrel, its vocabulary a diverse mix resulting from centuries of borrowing from other tongues. From the Celtic languages of pre-Roman Britain to Norman French; from the Vikings' Old Scandinavian to Persian, Arawak, Cantonese, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Inuit and Erdu - amongst a host of others - we have enriched our modern language with such words as tulip, slogan, doolally, avocado, moccasin, ketchup and ukulele.

May We Borrow Your Language? explores the intriguing and unfamiliar stories behind scores of familiar words that the English language has filched from abroad; in so doing, it also sheds fascinating light on the wider history of the development of the English we speak today. Full of etymological nuggets to intrigue and delight the reader, this is a gift book for word buffs to cherish - as cerebrally stimulating as it is more-ishly entertaining.
By:   Philip Gooden
Imprint:   Head of Zeus
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm, 
ISBN:   9781786694553
ISBN 10:   1786694557
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   08 November 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Philip Gooden writes books about language as well as historical crime novels. The former include Who's Whose? A No-Nonsense Guide to Easily-Confused Words, The Story of English, and (as co-author) Idiomantics and The Word at War.

Reviews for May We Borrow Your Language?: How English Steals Words From All Over the World

'Engrossing ... hugely informative and fun' Nudge Books. 'Written with wit and aplomb as he reveals the history and details on words as diverse as cwen, lust, delphinan and bathos ... It is a worthy addition for anyone with an etymological collection of books, and if you like Mark Forsyth this is right up your street' Half Man, Half Book Blog.


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