phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Word & phrase origin books

Posted by Gary on June 14, 2000

In Reply to: Word & phrase origin books posted by Bob on June 13, 2000

: : There are several good books that give phrase and word origins. And I am determined to own them all! Here are a few of my favorites:

: : "A Hog on Ice" (1948, Harper & Row) by Charles Earle Funk. This is one in a series of four books by Mr. Funk now available in one volume.

: : "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).

: : "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

: : "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Fact on File, New York, 1997)

: : "Listening to America" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1982) or any other book by Mr. Flexner.

: : "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G" by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994. And, of course H-O.

: : Does anyone have other titles to add? I have no shelf space left but I'm always looking for new books to acquire.

: The OED. It took ten years of hints before my family bought me one for Xmas.

I'd agree with Bob on the OED. You'll need very strong shelves for the full printed version. The CD version is excellent, although quite pricey.