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Best Etymology Books Worth Your Attention

There are countless Etymology courses, tutorials, articles available online, but for some, having a book is still a necessity to learn. This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

1. The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language (2012)

 Best Etymology Books Worth Your Attention you know why a mortgage is literally a “death pledge”? Why guns have girls’ names? Why “salt” is related to “soldier”? Discover the answers to all of these etymological questions and more in this fascinating book for fans of  The Etymologicon is a completely unauthorized guide to the strange underpinnings of the English language. It explains how you get from “gruntled” to “disgruntled”; why you are absolutely right to believe that your meager salary barely covers “money for salt”; how the biggest chain of coffee shops in the world connects to…
Author(s): Mark Forsyth

2. Dictionary of Word Origins: The Histories of More Than 8,000 English-Language Words (2011)

 Best Etymology Books Worth Your AttentionWritten in a clear and informative style, the more than 8,000 articles reveal the origins of and links between some of the most common English-language words. What is the link between map and apron, acrobat and oxygen, zeal and jealousy, flour and pollen, secret and crime?Did you know that crimson originally comes from the name of tiny scale insects, the kermes, from whose dried bodies a red dyestuff is made? That Yankee began as a nickname for Dutchmen? That omelette evolved from amulette, “a thin sheet of metal,” and is a not-too-distant cousin of the word laminate? That jeans find their antecedent in…
Author(s): John Ayto

3. Learn Spanish via Etymologies: The Addictive Way To Learn Spanish Quickly (2018)

 Best Etymology Books Worth Your AttentionThis new method to learn Spanish makes each word come alive in your mind. Knowing where each Spanish vocabulary word came from makes it trivial for you to remember them.Once you know that the Spanish “mirar” (to look at) is related to the English “admire,” “miracle,” “mirage” — all things you look at — you’ll always remember “mirar.”Once you know that the Spanish for “lighthouse” is “faro,” named after the King of ancient Egypt who built the Great Lighthouse at Alexandria, the “Pharaoh,” then you’ll always remember “faro.”Once you know that most “ct”…
Author(s): S. Morgan Friedman

4. English Words from Latin and Greek Elements (1986)

 Best Etymology Books Worth Your AttentionDonald Ayers' English Words from Latin and Greek Elements has helped thousands of students to a broader vocabulary by showing them how to recognize classical roots in modern English words. Its second edition, published in 1986, has confirmed that vocabulary is best taught by root, not rote. The importance of learning classical word roots is already acknowledged by vocabulary texts that devote chapters to them. Why a whole book based on this approach? Ayers' text exposes students to a wider range of roots, introduces new English words in context sentences, and…
Author(s): Donald M. Ayers , Thomas D. Worthen, et al.

5. The Oxford Guide to Etymology (2011)

 Best Etymology Books Worth Your AttentionThis practical introduction to word history investigates every aspect of where words come from and how they change. Philip Durkin, chief etymologist of the Oxford English Dictionary, shows how different types of evidence can shed light on the myriad ways in which words change in form and meaning. He considers how such changes can be part of wider linguistic processes, or be influenced by a complex mixture of social and cultural factors. He illustrates every point with a wide range of fascinating examples. Dr. Durkin investigates folk etymology and other changes…
Author(s): Philip Durkin

6. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology (Oxford Quick Reference) (1993)

 Best Etymology Books Worth Your AttentionWhere did the words bungalow and assassin derive? What did nice mean in the Middle Ages? How were adder, anger, and umpire originally spelled? The answers can be found in this essential companion to any popular dictionary. With over 17,000 entries, this is the most authoritative and comprehensive guide to word origins available in paperback. Based on The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, the principal authority on the origin and development of English words, it contains a wealth of information about our language and its history. For example, readers will learn that bungalow originally meant “belonging to Bengal,” that…
Author(s): T. F. Hoad

7. Ingles Elemental Ilustrado-Libro Segundo (Spanish Edition) (2008)

 Best Etymology Books Worth Your AttentionPaperback: 104 pages Publisher: Govill Publishers (June 20, 2008) Language: Spanish ISBN-10: 1880196034 ISBN-13: 978-1880196038 Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches Shipping Weight: 5.1 ounces Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,098,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #3573 in Etymology (Books) #20760 in English as a Second Language Instruction #27806 in Foreign Dictionaries & Thesauruses Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?…
Author(s): Roberto A. Gonzalez

8. Mer to Moor: Kemet until Now: The Etymology, Phonology, Semantics and Morphology of the Word Moor (Moor what they didn’t Teach You in Black History Class) (Volume 4) (2016)

 Best Etymology Books Worth Your AttentionThe Etymology, Phonology, Semantics and Morphology of the word Moor from Ancient Times. Hieroglyphics begins to take on a lettering system in the form of an upper Kemetic Script known as Proto- Sinatic or Ancient Moabite/Cannanite from which the Greek, Roman, Latin and English Alphabet are derived. Ancient words that have been passed down through this script still hold the intrinsic meanings of those letters and have been preserved in secret societies for ages. These meanings are not present in modern dictionaries due to the morphing of language itself overtime. However, because the ancients either observed or affixed an inherent meaning to…
Author(s): Cozmo El, Taylor El, G.S. Victor

9. Studies in Etymology, 2nd Edition (2008)

 Best Etymology Books Worth Your AttentionStudies in Etymology is a textbook for a course or self study in building vocabulary through an understanding of Latin and Greek roots and the grammar of word formation. The first half of the book is devoted to Latin roots and word formation through the influence of Latin grammar and language development. The second half of the book deals with Greek, the nuances of Greek grammar and syntax, as well as the influences of such things as Greek mythology on the creation of words in English. A special section is devoted to science and medicine….
Author(s): Charles W. Dunmore, Rita Fleischer

10. Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins (Oxford Quick Reference) (2010)

 Best Etymology Books Worth Your AttentionCombining both accessibility and authority, The Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins describes the origins and development of over 3,000 words and phrases in the English language. The book draws on Oxford’s unrivalled dictionary research program and language monitoring, and relates the fascinating stories behind many of our most curious terms and expressions in order to offer the reader a much more detailed explanation than can be found in a general English dictionary. Organized A-Z, the entries include first known use along with examples that illustrate the…
Author(s): Julia Cresswell

11. Understanding and Using English Grammar, 4th Edition (Book & Audio CD) (2009)

 Best Etymology Books Worth Your AttentionA classic developmental skills text for intermediate to advanced students of English, Understanding and Using English Grammar is a comprehensive reference grammar as well as a stimulating and teachable classroom text.   While keeping the same basic approach and material as in earlier editions, the Fourth Edition more fully develops communicative and interactive language-learning activities. Some of the new features are:…
Author(s): Betty S. Azar, Stacy A. Hagen

Best Etymology Books Worth Your Attention

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some etymology books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Ancient and Medieval Greek Etymology: Theory and Practice I

Author(s): Arnaud Zucker; Claire Le Feuvre
ID: 2914590, Publisher: de Gruyter, Year: 2021, Size: 2 Mb, Format: pdf

Once Upon a Word: A Word-Origin Dictionary for Kids—Building Vocabulary Through Etymology, Definitions & Stories

Author(s): Jess Zafarris
ID: 2579328, Publisher: Rockridge Press, Year: 2020, Size: 2 Mb, Format: epub

‘Argier’ through Renaissance Drama: Investigating History, Studying Etymology and Reshuffling Geography

Author(s): Mohamed Salah Eddine Madiou
ID: 2448926, Publisher: Geo Publishing, Year: 2019, Size: 225 Kb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are really best-sellers according to Washington Post, others are drafted by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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