Daily Archives: November 23, 2012

Abracadabra to Zombie: More Than 300 Wacky Word Origins

By Don and Pam Wulffson
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Category: Nonfiction

Personal Evaluation: I love etymology. I did not know a fair number of words in this book, which I found curious – are they more popular in other areas of the country? Or is it just a quirk of the authors? If I, in 30 years of speaking English, have not heard of these words, how likely is it that a 10-year-old has heard of them? But for the ones I didn’t know, there were many more I did know, and was interested to learn the origins.

What might interest children: Grouping like items together, like cars, is probably helpful to a reader with a special interest. I personally didn’t care for the cartoon illustrations, but they would probably help hold some kids’ attention. There are also some really great asides, in the form of little bubbles.