500 Years of New Words: The Fascinating Story of How, When, by Bill Sherk

By Bill Sherk

500 Years of recent phrases takes you on a thrilling trip in the course of the English language from the times ahead of Shakespeare to the 1st decade of the twenty first century. the entire major entries are prepared no longer alphabetically by way of in chronological order according to the earliest recognized yr that every be aware was once revealed or written down. starting with "America" in 1507 and spanning the centuries to "Marsiphobiphiliac" in 2004 (a one that would like to visit Mars yet is frightened of being marooned there), this booklet could be opened at any web page and the reader will find a magnificent array of linguistic delights. In different phrases, this ebook is unputdownable (the major access for 1947). If Shakespeare have been alive this day, he could purchase this booklet.

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Extra info for 500 Years of New Words: The Fascinating Story of How, When, and Why Hundreds of Your Favourite Words First Entered the English Language

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During the Middle Ages, when copies of the Bible were laboriously handwritten, the monks who produced them often worked under a vow of silence. When the urge to communicate became too great to ignore, these monks often wrote notes to each other in the margins of the Bibles they were copying. In the copies that survive today, we can read the messages they furtively scribbled to one another. When skeptic first appeared in an English sentence in 1575, it was just a query scribbled in the margin of a letter written to a chap named Randolph by a fellow named Buchanan.

1578 PENGUIN A week before Christmas in 1577, Francis Drake set sail from England with five ships for a secret destination: the Pacific Ocean, where no English ships had ever sailed before. His objective was to launch a series of lightning attacks on the Spanish treasure ships carrying gold and silver from the Incan Empire in Peru to the Isthmus of Panama. So successful was Drake in sinking Spanish ships and capturing Spanish gold that he dared not return home by the same route he had come. After sailing as far north as San Francisco Bay in a vain attempt to find a water route through North America, he struck west across the Pacific and so sailed around the great globe itself, returning home in England after thirty-five months at sea.

In order to reach the Pacific, Drake sailed through the treacherous Strait of Magellan and noticed some flightless seabirds, which he called “penguins,” from the Welsh pen, meaning “head,” and gwyn, “white” — probably suggested by a Welsh sailor on board. Drake even named an island in honour of the new bird. ” In 1713 a rare use of the word violin cropped up when it was used as a verb meaning to entice or seduce by violin-playing. The lady in question remains anonymous, but her fate can still be read in the pages 59 B ILL S HERK of the OED under the verb form of violin: “Was not Madame W.

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