This perfect gift for readers, writers, and literature majors alike unearths the quirks of the English language. For example, do you know why a mortgage is literally a “death pledge”? Why guns have girls’ names? Why “salt” is related to “soldier”? Discover the answers to all of these etymological questions and more in this fascinating book for fans of of Eats, Shoots & Leaves.
The Etymologicon is a completely unauthorized guide to the strange underpinnings of the English language. It explains how you get from “gruntled” to “disgruntled”; why you are absolutely right to believe that your meager salary barely covers “money for salt”; how the biggest chain of coffee shops in the world connects to whaling in Nantucket; and what, precisely, the Rolling Stones have to do with gardening. This witty book will awake the linguist in you and illuminate the hidden meanings behind common words and phrases, tracing their evolution through all of their surprising paths throughout history.