Word Mysteries and Histories: From Quiche to Humble Pie - Robert Claiborne, American Heritage Dictionaries, Barry Moser

I love reading about the histories of words, the etymology of language, especially in English since it's my mother tongue.

 

This book is almost 30 years out of date, however, and I obtained it through a strange series of happenstance. The black and, well, cream colored wood engraving print illustrations by Barry Moser are beautiful and I am very tempted to cut or copy them out and frame them on a wall. The choice of words explained are interesting, and some of the stories are interesting, but most are about as dry as I remember my linguistics textbook being. It's better suited to being a coffee table book for the academically inclined guest in my opinion, and I'll probably keep it just for that reason.