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Follow the Author
Once Upon a Word: A Word-Origin Dictionary for Kids—Building Vocabulary Through Etymology, Definitions & Stories Kindle Edition
From the Publisher
Some of the word stories inside include:
Acrobat | AK-roh-bat | noun |
An acrobat is someone who puts on an amazing gymnastic performance in a circus or onstage. Many acrobats perform high in the air on a trapeze or tightrope. Acrobat means “one who goes to the top” or “one who walks high up,” from the Greek akros, meaning “height,” the “tip of a peak,” or the “top of something high up,” and bainein, meaning “to go” or “to walk.” It’s related to the Greek akrobatos, a word for walking on your tiptoes or climbing up high.
Buoy | BOO-ee | noun |
A buoy is a floating object placed in the ocean to warn boats and ships about areas in the water that are dangerous or shallow. It likely comes from a Proto-Germanic root meaning “signal” or “beacon,” or perhaps from an Old French word for “chain” because buoys are usually attached to the ocean floor by chains. Because buoys float, the adjective “buoyant” refers to something that floats or the emotional state of feeling light and happy.
Caribou | KAIR-uh-boo | noun |
A caribou is a large type of reindeer. Its name is an Algonquian (Native American) word meaning “pawer” or “scratcher” because it digs in the snow with its hooves to find moss and grass.
“This thorough and visually delightful book is a yellow-brick road paved with ‘a-ha!’ moments. It is written in an engaging style that will open the door wide for young minds to enter the magical world where language meets history. I expect it will inspire many of them to a lifetime of discovery in an overlooked field.” ―Douglas Harper, etymonline.com
“Once Upon a Word makes learning new words fun and efficient. Jess Zafarris has written a book that is accessible to kids and educational enough for adults. Every parent and educator should keep a copy for engaged minds on hand.” ―Jordan Rosenfeld, author of How to Write a Page Turner
“As kids flip through this book, they'll feel like they're decoding secret messages from the past. This book teaches an important lesson: by understanding language we can better understand each other and the world around us. I love that.” ―Aubre Andrus, award-winning children's book author--This text refers to the paperback edition.
From the Author
- "Amateur" comes from the Latin amatorem, meaning "lover," because an amateur does something for the love of it rather than for work?
- "Thesaurus" essentially means "treasure trove," from the Greek thesauros, meaning "treasury" or "treasure chest"?
- "Clone," comes from the Greek klon, meaning "twig" because the earliest cloning process involved breaking twigs off of plants and using them to grow new ones?
- "Brilliant" comes from a Latin word literally meaning "shining like beryl" (beryl being a category of mineral/gemstone to which emerald and aquamarine belong)?
- "Algebra" comes from the Arabic al-jabr, meaning "a reunion of broken parts," and was both an Arabic mathematical term and a medical term for setting broken bones?
- ASIN : B0844ZRV95
- Publisher : Rockridge Press (February 11, 2020)
- Publication date : February 11, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 3779 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 252 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #370,512 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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“Gender and sex are often confused. A persons sex is biological and defined at birth. But gender refers to an individual, social, and cultural expression of who you are. In many societies, gender is very closely tied to sex, but this is evolving. Gender exist on a spectrum, and so do the pronouns that go with it. You might identify as a girl with the pronouns she/her, as a boy with the pronouns he/him, or somewhere unique with the pronouns they/them…”
By David Griner on February 26, 2020
Top reviews from other countries
She is definitely enjoying both diving in to the book and taking a more chronological approach. Some of the words are tough for her to read, but mostly it's pitched just right - certainly from a comprehension point of view. It's quite interesting as a grown up too.
This view of how the English language works/is and why is one rarely taught in schools but useful for comprehension as well as curiosity. Recommended.
The first few words I checked out had "doobious" pronunciation notes which made me realise it must be an American book. That was a bit disappointing. Plus, as someone else said, the prefix 'un' doesn't mean 'one'. So... Sadly it'll have to go back because I don't have time to edit and correct it before I hand it to my children.
Sad. It would be lovely to have an accurate version, preferably British.