From Bonbon to Cha-cha: Oxford Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases

Andrew Delahunty (ed.)

From Bonbon to Cha-cha: Oxford Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases

One of the most distinctive characteristics of English is the number of words and phrases it has borrowed - and continues to borrow - from other languages, originally and most notably from Latin and French but now also from every corner of the globe. From the frequently used veranda and futon to the less familiar quinquennium and catenaccio, from the longstanding in vino veritas and vade mecum to the recent doosra and galactico, this highly informative reference book provides a revealing record of that remarkable story. With 6,000 detailed entries from aa to zut, this dictionary is the authoritative guide to foreign words and phrases used in contemporary British and American English. Drawn from over 40 languages, entries provide details of the history of each word or phrase, including language of origin, spelling variants, pronunciation, and its sense and use in English. Information is given on specific items of interest, such as the use of daemon in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, and full-page feature panels provide extra information on how specific languages and cultures have influenced particular areas of English. This new edition includes 100 new entries including sudoku, uber, and coitus interruptus, plus up-to-date coverage of words that have entered the English language in the 21st Century, including bruschetta, pashmina and galactico. 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
From Bonbon to Cha-cha: Oxford Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Language & Linguistics, Reference
Format Hardback
Pages 384
RRP £10.99
Date of Publication October 2008
ISBN 978-0199543694
Publisher OUP
 

One of the most distinctive characteristics of English is the number of words and phrases it has borrowed - and continues to borrow - from other languages, originally and most notably from Latin and French but now also from every corner of the globe. From the frequently used veranda and futon to the less familiar quinquennium and catenaccio, from the longstanding in vino veritas and vade mecum to the recent doosra and galactico, this highly informative reference book provides a revealing record of that remarkable story. With 6,000 detailed entries from aa to zut, this dictionary is the authoritative guide to foreign words and phrases used in contemporary British and American English. Drawn from over 40 languages, entries provide details of the history of each word or phrase, including language of origin, spelling variants, pronunciation, and its sense and use in English. Information is given on specific items of interest, such as the use of daemon in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, and full-page feature panels provide extra information on how specific languages and cultures have influenced particular areas of English. This new edition includes 100 new entries including sudoku, uber, and coitus interruptus, plus up-to-date coverage of words that have entered the English language in the 21st Century, including bruschetta, pashmina and galactico.

Reviews

The Spectator

Christopher Howse

[OUP's] bid for popular appeal is discernible in From Bonbon to Cha-cha, with entries such as the jocular nil carborundum illegitimi, a cod-Latin phrase that we learn, not all that enlighteningly, ‘was in circulation during the second world war, though it may possibly be of earlier origin’. Another new entry is in less fishy Latin: e pluribus unum, which is ‘the motto of the United States’. We are not told that the phrase appears (almost) in a pseudo-Virgilian poem of the first century on the making of a sort of cheese and garlic paste: ‘color est e pluribus unus, / nec totus viridis’ — out of many comes a single colour, not entirely green.

07/01/2009

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