Cover image for The Facts On File dictionary of foreign words and phrases
Title:
The Facts On File dictionary of foreign words and phrases
Author:
Manser, Martin H.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Checkmark Books/Facts on File, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
xiv, 432 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780816044580

9780816044597
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PE1670 .M26 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Ralph Waldo Emerson once described the English language as the sea which receives tributaries from every region under heaven. We dip into this sea more often than we realize, sprinkling our writings and everyday conversations with words and phrases that are derived from other languages. This reference presents information on the origins and usage of more than 4000 of these expressions.


Author Notes

Martin H. Manser lives in England.


Reviews 4

Choice Review

Manser's dictionary defines 4,000 terms and expressions from other languages, some completely integrated into English ("casserole," "futon," "parenthesis," "stipendium") while others continue to be perceived as foreign ("ca m'est egal," "lex loci," "schwarmerei," "yeshiva"). The vocabulary covers everyday expressions ("bon viveur," "pro forma"), technical terminology ("camera lucida," "Verfremdungseffekt"), and tags and quotations ("obscurum per obscurius," "pour encourager les autres") drawn from literature, religion, law, politics, philosophy, entertainment, cuisine, music, etc. All entries give part of speech, pronunciation in American English (guide to pronunciation, p. viii-ix), language of origin, meanings in the original language, and examples or literary quotations to illustrate usage. Cross-references point from less similar spellings or abbreviations to commonly used spellings ("oesophagus/esophagus," "int. al./inter alia"). The index arranges words and phrases by language of origin. If some languages have lent only one word to English (Egyptian "ankh," Finnish "sauna," Icelandic "geyser," Javanese "batik," Malagasy "raffia"), others--French, Italian, Greek, Latin--have left a solid imprint (1,200 entries of French origin). A valuable resource for students, writers, and readers that belongs in any library, private or institutional. H. G.B. Anghelescu Wayne State University


Booklist Review

As the English language ceaselessly absorbs and assimilates more and more elements of other languages, Manser has reason to quote Emerson's observation that English is indeed "the sea which receives tributaries from every region under heaven." In this volume he presents more than 4,000 examples, from Abacus to Zombie. Information regarding grammar and usage accompanies each entry, and in many entries examples are included to lessen the possibility of misuse. Etymological information is provided as well. All of the entries are indexed, individually and by language, and variant spellings are cross-referenced. Manser's pronunciation system offers good approximations of foreign sounds. A two-page guide in the introduction is simple and readily understood, for example, Manser's pronunciation of mutatis mutandis: "myootahtas myootandas," with an underline indicating the accented syllable in the second word (that accent being dominant in the phrase) but no accent indicated in the other word, a practice consistent throughout. Many entries include variant pronunciations, but Latin words beginning with v are all represented with a vee sound, as in ad verbum, rendered as "ad verbam," following the ecclesiastical method, without acknowledging the acceptability of the classical pronunciation--which renders the first syllable of "verbum" as "wer." A small matter. Designed to meet the needs and expectations of a general readership, Manser's book should be a strong contender in its class.


Library Journal Review

This dictionary is based on a great concept to explain foreign words and phrases that have found their way into our language but, with only about 4000 entries, it more often frustrates. The vast majority of the words listed here come from French and Latin (not surprisingly, since 40 percent of English is derived from French, often through Latin). And though some 60 languages are represented, it is often with only a handful of words. Do we really have only one or two words from Aramaic, Basque, Czech, Egyptian, Finnish, and Polish and only 15 from all the Scandinavian languages? Why include "blond," "bra," "bulletin," "cot," "dessert," "dollar," "minor," "restaurant," and "sofa" as foreign words when there are thousands of others that would be more useful to define? Can we really accept that "margarine" and "menu" are foreign words when their meanings in the original language are entirely different? That said, Manser (The Hearthside Bible Dictionary) has included many music and food terms that could be useful, especially for readers who stick to French, Italian, Spanish, and Hindi. In addition, the Latin terms (many from jurisprudence) are particularly helpful. Each entry includes information on the original meaning and spelling of the word or phrase and an example of its use in English. Recommended for larger public libraries, at least until a more satisfying edition is published. Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Coll., Garden City, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-Organization is one of the strong points of this resource containing 44 biographical essays. From Martha Washington to Laura Bush, each entry begins with important dates and a brief overview of the subject's life or impact while separate sections cover "Early Life," "Marriage and Family," "Presidency and First Ladyship," and "Legacy." These sections will allow for quick and easy access of facts and be useful for comparative studies. The engaging entries describe how each woman's personality shaped the role. Additionally, readers will learn how the issues of the period and changing expectations contributed to the evolution of this position. Boxed sidebars contain information about their husbands and anecdotes about each woman. An annotated list of suggested readings follows each article. Black-and-white photographs, drawings, and reproductions add interest. A valuable feature of this book is the inclusion of nine topical essays on aspects of the First Lady's role (as presidential partner, as campaigner, etc.), White House hostesses, and life in the White House. A list of the special interests of these individuals is included in the essay on "First Ladies and Policy Issues, Causes, or Charities." An extensive bibliography and a list of libraries, museums, historic sites, and Web sites are also provided. A useful tool for students researching these women.-Lana Miles, Duchesne Academy, Houston, TX RESOURCE UPDATE (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

An indispensable guide to more than 4,000 foreign expressions in the English language. Ralph Waldo Emerson once described the English language as "the sea which receives tributaries from every region under heaven." We dip into this sea more often than we realize, sprinkling our writings and everyday conversations with words and phrases that are derived from other languages. The Facts On File Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases presents information on the origins and usage of more than 4,000 of these expressions. The dictionary clarifies and explains words and phrases spanning a wide range of fields, from law to music, philosophy to cuisine. Some expressions have been fully assimilated into the English language, including "igloo," "extra," and "bonanza," while others are still considered foreign, such as "de rigueur" and "magnum opus." Entries include pronunciations in American English, parts of speech and other relevant grammatical information, languages of origin, concise definitions, examples of use, and etymological backgrounds. Sample entries include: bimbo (bimbo) italian [baby] noun (plural bimbos or bimboes) a slang term for a physically attractive but apparently unintelligent young woman (or, more rarely, young man): "Any woman who succeeds as a top model has to work hard to convince the press not to label her a bimbo." kismet (kizmet, kizmat, kizmit) turkish [from Arabic qismah portion, lot] noun fate, fortune, destiny: "It's predestined on the face of it. Yes, tell him it's Kismet. Kismet, mallum? (Fate! Do you understand?)" (Rudyard Kipling, Kim, 1901). Excerpted from The Facts on File Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases by Martin H. Manser All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
Foreign Words and Phrasesp. 1
Indexp. 413

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