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category: Humor
published: March 2010
ISBN:9781553802785
publisher: Ronsdale Press

Strange Bedfellows

The Private Lives of Words

by Howard Richler

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etymology
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $17.99
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
category: Humor
published: March 2010
ISBN:9781553802785
publisher: Ronsdale Press
Description

The bawdy English language has never been overly concerned with purity, and this promiscuous proclivity has contributed to many alluring word histories. Words, like species, evolve, and particularly those words that have been in existence for many centuries have undergone major evolutions in meaning. When you read Strange Bedfellows: The Private Lives of Words, you will discover the unexpected. For example, why gossiping in church is etymologically proper, and that words such as "avocado" and "porcelain" have past associations with some of the nether regions of the body. As Richler reveals, the English language has slept around for centuries and in the process has been "contaminated" by many foreign influences. Composed of short chapters with each containing ten words from specific fields, Strange Bedfellows will surprise and delight the reader.

About the Author
Howard Richler is a longtime logophile who has served as a language columnist for several newspapers and magazines. He is the author of seven books on language including: The Dead Sea Scroll Palindromes (1995), Take My Words: A Wordaholic's Guide to the English Language (1996), A Bawdy Language: How a Second-Rate Language Slept Its Way to the Top (1999), Global Mother Tongue: The Eight Flavours of English (2006), Can I Have a Word with You? (2007), Strange Bedfellows: The Private Lives of Words (2010), and most recently How Happy Became Homosexual: and Other Mysterious Semantic Shifts (2013).
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Association of Book Publishers of BC
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Strange Bedfellows: The Private Lives of Words

With over two hundred select words to uncover in this handy reference book, readers will be surprised and amused to discover the origin of familiar words. Richler’s sixth book on the English language traces the origin of each word, and illustrates how the meaning of a word has changed over the course of time. Discover how “exuberant” used to mean “luxuriantly fertile”. Richler has organized the book into 18 chapters in which he has culled 10 or more words from a specific field or topic. For example, one chapter is devoted to words that come from “unmentionable body parts”, another is based on words that were originally insults and another deals with words that came from Arabic. The index facilitates retrieval of all the entries included in the book.

Richler’s other books include Can I Have a Word With You and Global Mother Tongue.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2010-2011.

Other Titles by Howard Richler

Global Mother Tongue

Global Mother Tongue

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Can I Have a Word with You?

Can I Have a Word with You?

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Take My Words

Take My Words

A Wordaholic's Guide to the English Language
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How Happy Became Homosexual

How Happy Became Homosexual

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