Friday, March 19, 2010

What's In a Word - My Review


by Webb Garrison
Thomas Nelson Publishers

I chose this book simply because I'm a word person, I love the written word and I love to learn and use new words in conversations.  Anything that explains certain words is my kind of book.  I received a copy from Thomas Nelson to read and review.

What's in a Word, fascinating stories of more than 350 everyday words and phrases caught my eye because I've always been fascinated with the origin of phrases, this book answered so many of my questions in the 248 pages!

The beauty of this book is the ability to simply look up your phrase and read that page only, it's an excellent reference book to add to your library.  At the beginning of each chapter there is a list of the words and phrases in those pages and they are categorized by genre; technology, religion, pioneers and cowpokes.  This makes perusing it a bit more fun because you can read about the particular phrases you're interested in for that day.

Do you know what....Fight fire with fire means?  This is how it's described in the book:
Fire was a foe of householders on the American frontier.  Most cabins were built in small clearings, but grass and brush might extend nearly to the doors.  Disaster threatened whenever flames pushed by the wind approached.  In this situation settlers often set backfires.  This meant burning a strip in the path of a big blaze then extinguishing the fire to leave barren ground that would not burn.  To fight fire with fire was a desperate venture, for the control strip might bet out of hand and add to the danger instead of reducing it.  Consequently, the frontier term has come to indicate any emergency measure that involves great hazard.

I think that's pretty interesting stuff!  We also learn about curfew, beau, blockhead, thorn in the flesh, gloss over and many, many more.

I actually wish we had had this book while homeschooling, it's an excellent resource for a learning tidbit for the day for teachers, etc.

I give this book 5/5 stars for the simplicity of reading, ability to quickly learn the meanings of words and phrases and the fun of finally knowing the  meaning behind the phrases I've heard all my life!

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