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Once upon a Word: True Tales of Word Origins [Paperback]

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Item description for Once upon a Word: True Tales of Word Origins by Rob Kyff...

Once Upon A Word, True Tales Of Word Origins, is a book by nationally syndicated language columnist Rob Kyff that relates the surprising and fascinating stories behind hundreds of common words and phrases. With wit and warmth, Kyff spins the colorful yarns of courage and compassion, fakery and farce that lie behind our language. He sails the seven seas to find the salty sources of "bitter end," "taken aback" and "aloof." He discreetly disrobes the origins of "bikini," "negligee" and "lingerie", then drops in on a poker game to reveal the genesis of "pass the buck", "four-flusher" and "play both ends against the middle."

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Item Specifications...

Pages   148
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.44" Width: 6.32" Height: 0.41"
Weight:   0.49 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2003
Publisher   Tapestry Press
ISBN  1930819293  
ISBN13  9781930819290  

Availability  0 units.

More About Rob Kyff

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Rob Kyff, a.k.a. "The Word Guy" is a nationally syndicated language columnist. His Hartford Courant column "Word Watch" is syndicated as "The Word Guy" by Creators Syndicate of Los Angeles and has appeared in scores of newspapers, including "The Detroit Free press," "San Jose Mercury News" and "Memphis Commercial Appeal," His essays to newspapers and magazines frequently appear in the "Washington Post," "Chicago Tribune," "Los Angeles Times," "Boston Globe," and "American History Magazine" to name a few. Born in Armonk, N. Y, . he earned his B.A. magna cum laude at Amherst College and an M.A. in American studies at the University of Minnesota. He has taught English and history at Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford, Connecticut, since 1977 and also serves as the school's director of public affairs and editor of its alumni magazine.

Rob Kyff currently resides in the state of Connecticut. Rob Kyff was born in 1948.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Reference > General
2Books > Subjects > Reference > Words & Language > Etymology
3Books > Subjects > Reference > Words & Language > General
4Books > Subjects > Reference > Words & Language > Linguistics

Reviews - What do customers think about Once upon a Word: True Tales of Word Origins?

Lots and Lots and Lots to know.....  Mar 16, 2004
I learned quite a bit and I laughed - guffawed perhaps - even more as I experienced this volume by Rob Kyff, also known as "The Word Guy". From the very opening pages (where we learn why blondes are tow-heads....from the explanation I wonder why they weren't called "Flax Heads" Ah, well.

What really got me going with this book, though, is Kyff's suggestion that the reader consider reading the book as "entering a room filled with intriguing people." As a word lover, this is a concept I can completely understand: after all, aren't words purely intriguing people?

I sat in my seat, nodding in surprise to find "winging it" was not in the same vein as literally "flying by the seat of my pants" instead it comes from a stage and performance root - unprepared actors would have someone in the wings prompting them with their lines. Laziness lead to "winging it" because there was no other preparation.

I can somehow picture a cow with aching feet when I learned "tender foot" actually comes from importing cattle who didn't fare too well on the "rough" colonial terrain... that is until they got used to it.

Wow your friends and romance your word loving spirit through this engaging and mind stretching volume.


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