Cover image for Ologies and isms : a dictionary of word beginnings and endings
Ologies and isms : a dictionary of word beginnings and endings
Quinion, Michael.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
vii, 280 pages ; 20 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PE1175 .Q46 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PE1175 .Q46 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Aquaculture? Haemophilia? Isochronous? Neuralgia? Polyunsaturated? Rodenticide?How often do we see a technical word without quite knowing what it means? If we can decipher it-undo its language code-we can start to understand others of a similar kind. Ologies and Isms is about the building blocks of the English language - the beginnings and endings, and sometimes the middles -that help form or adapt many of the words we use. Whether you're a student or a practitioner, a teacher of English, an inveterate word-user, or just a seeker-out of linguistic trifles, Ologies and Isms will help you understand better the language of your workplace and the world around you.Contains over 10,000 examples within 1,250 entries Selective thematic index breaks prefixes and suffixes down by theme, eg biochemistry and drugs, living world, places and peopleAlso useful for crossword and word game lovers

Author Notes

Michael Quinion has had a varied career, including BBC studio manager and producer in radio, heritage interpreter, freelance audio-visual scriptwriter and producer, museum curator, tourism consultant, and computer software writer. He has been a freelance researcher for the Oxford EnglishDictionary since 1992, focussing particularly on new words, and is now also a technical consultant for it. He contributed about a third of the entries to the Second Edition of the Oxford Dictionary of New Words.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

This book defines various word beginnings and endings-some of the building blocks of the English language-and manages to make the whole thing fun. Many of these elements appear most commonly in medical or technical words, but this is not a technical dictionary. Instead, it uses over 10,000 examples throughout its 1250 alphabetically arranged entries to decode the prefixes and suffixes, as well as infixes (a word part placed within a word, as the s in cupsful) we typically encounter. Each entry includes the etymology of the element, examples of full words using it, and some explanation regarding its meaning and usage. Tables throughout illustrate several words created from the same element, such as the many words formed with the suffix -archy (anarchy, eparchy, monarchy, squirearchy, etc.). Readers will find both old and new friends here. The author has experience working with the Oxford English Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionary of New Words, and it shows. Even if you think you know the English language, you will learn a thing or two from this little volume. Easy to use, small enough to carry around, and chockfull of useful information, this book is for anyone who truly loves language.-Manya S. Chylinski, Ernst & Young Ctr. for Business, Boston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

With some 1,200 entries, this dictionary provides background, definitions, and multiple examples for word-forming affixes including prefixes, suffixes, combining forms, and infixes. Quinion focuses on the more commonly used affixes, leaving out little-known or rarely used word beginnings and endings. The definitions typically include the origin of the word, a brief definition of the affix, and defined examples of words containing the affix. The formatting of each definition is easy to read in boldface with a hyphen indicating the appropriate placement of the affix. No pronunciation guides are provided. The multiple examples given for each term do an excellent job illustrating the nuances of meaning appropriate to the entry. A separate list or table containing additional examples is often provided for more common affixes (like "sphere" or "bio"). The dictionary provides over 10,000 examples. A selective thematic index groups affixes by categories (body, living world, medicine). A helpful tool for word connoisseurs, students, and teachers. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All collections. M. D. Collins Mississippi State University

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vi
Some Technical Terms in this Bookp. viii
Dictionaryp. 1
Selective Thematic Indexp. 270