History in English Words

Recommended by Henry Hitchings, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #17 in Etymology

Owen Barfield's original and thought-provoking works over three-quarters of a century made him a legendary cult figure. History in English Words, his classic historical excursion through the English language, is now back in print after five years.

This popular book provides a brief, brilliant history of those who have spoken the Indo-European tongues. It is illustrated throughout by current English words—whose derivation from other languages, whose history in use and changes of meaning—record and unlock the larger history.

"In our language alone, not to speak of its many...

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Henry Hitchings He was a very wide-ranging amateur scholar of a type that we don’t tend to have any more. Maybe because he was a solicitor for a significant part of his life, he didn’t have to genuflect before the pieties of academia and could pursue the things that interested him. He has the rigour of an academic scholar but the romantic sympathy of a creative writer. (Source)

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