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The Etymology Book Store 


Featured Books (and games):

Help support Take Our Word For It by buying books from or through this bookstore. 

Strictly Etymology
Reference/Dictionaries, Place Names, Product Names/ Eponyms, Stars, Food, American, Animals, Military/War, Nautical, Foreign, Medical, General, Cliches, Folk Etymology, Foreign Words in English, Slang, Phrases

General, Specialized, CD-ROM


Word-related History

Grammar and Usage

Language Humor
Richard Lederer

Miscellaneous Books

Audio Books


OR See what etymology books offers that aren't in our book store yet

Cupboard Love, a Dictionary of Culinary Curiosities

By Mark Morton

Attention all word-gluttons and phrase-gourmands! Mark Morton's dictionary provides a multi-course feast for all lovers of word-histories. Although its main focus is food and cooking terms, "Cupboard Love" digresses into related topics whenever a tasty morsel is to be found there.Thus, while units of volume may not be immediately relevant to food, the entry for "liter" reveals that its ultimate source is the name of a coin in ancient Sicily! (Read the rest of our review from a recent mailing list newsletter.)


Words to the Wise

By Michael Sheehan

This book represents a selection of pieces from the radio show "Words to the Wise" which airs weekly on WTCM in Traverse City, Michigan. Listeners pose word queries to Sheehan, who answers them on air with authority and wit. We have to say that "Words to the Wise" is a great choice for the title.  If only we'd thought of something that catchy... but wait, we did.  [However, Sheehan and TOWFI came up with the title independently, rather like Newton and Liebniz both inventing calculus.] (Read the rest of our review from a recent mailing list newsletter.)

Mr. Sheehan is also an alumnus of this book store, having written Word Parts Dictionary.


(NOT through

There's another word game making its debut on the market, and this one is head and shoulders (board and pieces?) above the rest. It's called WildWords.  We played it with another couple last weekend (Mike won, of course) and we all had a rollicking good time. (Read the rest of our review from a recent newsletter.)    Click on the image above to purchase this game directly from its creator and he will make a donation to TOWFI!

Words You Thought You Knew...
By Jenna Glatzer

Yes, we've received a new book for review.  It is Words You Thought You Knew...1001 Commonly Misused and Misunderstood Words and Phrases by Jenna Glatzer.  A woman after our own hearts! She even includes a quiz at the end!  (Read the rest of our review from a recent newsletter.)


The Lover's Tongue
by Mark Morton

Believe it or not, there is another book out about the history of love and sex words. This time it is from our oft-quoted favorite 
food etymologist Mark Morton, author of Cupboard Love. Well, he's no longer just a food etymologist. In his latest, The Lover's Tongue, he covers a world of sex and love words, from accepted words to little-known slang. (Read the rest of our review from a recent newsletter.)


Bawdy Language
by Lawrence Paros

Lawrence Paros, whose web site A Word With You
( has been listed on our links page
( from time immemorial, has written a new book entitled Bawdy Language. A clever pun, this title is in no way misleading and should be read literally, for this is no book for children. George Carlin's blurb on the back cover is "Terrific, entertaining, well researched, and just plain f*cking good" and should give you an idea of this book's content. The faint of heart or timid of speech should not check it out. The rest of you will have a blast with it!  (Read the rest of our review from a recent newsletter.)


Weird and Wonderful Words
edited by Erin McKean

We must admit that we might not have seen this book had not Martha Barnette (author of some of our favorite etymological books; one of them is "Dog Days and Dandelions", below) alerted us to it. First, of course, she thought it was a great book. (Read the rest of our review from a recent newsletter.)


Dog Days & Dandelions by Martha BarnetteDog Days and Dandelions
by Martha Barnette

Here at Towfi Towers we receive quite a few books on word origins, more than a few of which have been known to provoke a series of pedantic noises ranging from "Tsk, tsk!" to "Pshaw!" In extreme cases these sounds of disgruntlement ("disgrunts"?) are followed by the peculiar rustling "whump!" which characterizes the collision of a book with our office wall.  What a joy, therefore, to discover that Martha Barnette has written a book which will delight both the etymologist and general reader alike. (Read the rest of our review from a recent newsletter.)


Derivation: A Word Game

The creator of the game "Derivation" was kind enough to send us a review copy. As it suggests 4 to 10 players, we got a group of friends together last weekend and had a go (and a great time!).  (Read the rest of our review from a recent newsletter.)


Depraved and Insulting English
by Peter Novobatzky and Ammon Shea

The cover of this book carries the legend "Words to Offend and Amuse" and that is no lie. Within the covers of this little gem of a dictionary are some of the most obscurely perverse and downright disgusting entries I have ever encountered. It is to the credit of the authors that the entries are frequently hilarious at the same time. (Read the rest of our review from a recent newsletter.)


An Exaltation of Larks
by James Lipton

A delightful book on words for collections of things, mentioned in Issue 173 of Take Our Word For It.





Journey to the Ants
by E.O Wilson and Bert Holldobler

Learn about the truly bizarre and fascinating world of ants, as mentioned in Issue 170 of Take Our Word For It.





Click to learn more and maybe even buy it. Haikus for Jews: For You, a Little Wisdom
by David M. Bader

As featured in our recent Sez You... column (Issue 159).   Read more of Mr. Bader's wonderfully hilarious poetry.




The Secret Lives of Words
by Paul West

We haven't managed to read this one yet, but he does delve into the derivations of some unusual words.  If you've read it, let us know what you think.




See what recommends to visitors to our etymological garden of books:

Copyright 1995-2003 TIERE
Last Updated 10/08/06 10:52 PM