500 Years of New Words: The Fascinating Story of How, When, by Bill Sherk

By Bill Sherk

500 Years of latest phrases takes you on a thrilling trip in the course of the English language from the times prior to Shakespeare to the 1st decade of the twenty first century. the entire major entries are prepared no longer alphabetically by way of in chronological order in keeping with the earliest recognized yr that every be aware used to be published or written down. starting with "America" in 1507 and spanning the centuries to "Marsiphobiphiliac" in 2004 (a one who would really like to visit Mars yet is scared of being marooned there), this publication might be opened at any web page and the reader will find a marvelous array of linguistic delights. In different phrases, this ebook is unputdownable (the major access for 1947). If Shakespeare have been alive at the present time, he could purchase this e-book.

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Tobacco was cultivated by the Indians of North and South America long before the arrival of Columbus, and they smoked it for both ceremonial and medicinal purposes. Europeans developed a taste for the “stinking weed” after Jean Nicot, French ambassador to Lisbon, sent some tobacco seeds to the queen of France, Catherine de Medici, in 1559. Nicot became immortalized when the word nicotine was coined in his honour, yet he would have preferred a different kind of fame. He laboured for forty years compiling the world’s first French dictionary, and before he died in 1594 his mammoth work of scholarship had been completed.

A third of a century earlier, James Monroe expressed the same idea. And where did Monroe get it from? ” What ancient source inspired Cleon to speak those words, no one knows. 1575 SKEPTIC Comments written in the margins of books are collectively known as marginalia. During the Middle Ages, when copies of the Bible were laboriously handwritten, the monks who produced them often worked under a vow of silence. When the urge to communicate became too great to ignore, these monks often wrote notes to each other in the margins of the Bibles they were copying.

An American inventor named Charles Goodyear tackled the problem and came up with the answer in 1839 when he accidentally spilled a mixture of rubber and sulphur on a hot stove. After holding his nose and cleaning up the mess, he discovered he had a rubber that stayed flexible when cold, yet dry and firm when warm. He called the new product “vulcanized rubber,” after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, because the heat of the fire brought the rubber and sulphur together to make what Goodyear was looking for.

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