Weird and Wonderful Words – Erin McKean, 2003

Delightful and fascinating, with wonderful cartoons by Roz Chast. The brillian Erin McKean, editor of Verbatim and rock-star lexicographer, gives just the right amount of information on each word–sometimes tantalizing, sometimes thorough–to make the book easy to read cover-to-cover, as well as fun to dip into. Essays on linked words (beginning with Z, relating to pigs, for diseases) are sprinkled in. Word stuck in my head now: mammothrept, a spoiled child (from “raised by one’s grandmother”). A

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