Author(s): Linda & Roger Flavell
Throughout history, events great and small have left their mark on the way we speak. Columbus's discovery of America introduced to Europe new foodstuffs such as chilli and chocolate - and the words that described them. The Normans gave us the feudal system and curfews, while the flourishing of Dutch art in the seventeenth century introduced easels, etchings and landscapes. Before the 1970s green was a colour with connotations of naivete rather than ecology and until 1990 webs were mostly attached to spiders. Starting from 1066 and working through to the modernday boom in techno-speak, Dictionary of English Down the Ages links hundreds of words with the historical upheavals and minor social changes which gave them life.
Linda and Roger Flavell have been studying the oddities of English for over 25 years. Their other books for Kyle Cathie are Dictionary of Idioms (of which a completely revised edition will be published in May 2005), Dictionary of Word Origins and Dictionary of Proverbs.