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A Word a Day: A Romp Through Some of the Most Unusual and Intriguing Words in English

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A Word a Day

A Romp Through Some of the Most Unusual and Intriguing Words in English

By Anu Garg, Stuti Garg

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Format: Paperback, 224 pages
Other Information: black & white illustrations
Published In: United States, 01 October 2002
"Anu Garg’s many readers await their A Word A Day rations hungrily. Now at last here’s a feast for them and other verbivores. Eat up!"
–Barbara Wallraff
Senior Editor at The Atlantic Monthly and author of Word Court

Praise for A Word a Day

"AWADies will be familiar with Anu Garg’s refreshing approach to words: words are fun and they have fascinating histories. The people who use them have curious stories to tell too, and this collection incorporates some of the correspondence received by the editors at the AWAD site, from advice on how to outsmart your opponent in a duel (or even a truel) to a cluster of your favorite mondegreens."
–John Simpson, Chief Editor, Oxford English Dictionary

"A banquet of words! Feast and be nourished!"
–Richard Lederer, author of The Miracle of Language

Written by the founder of the wildly popular A Word A Day Web site (, this collection of unusual, obscure, and exotic English words will delight writers, scholars, crossword puzzlers, and word buffs of every ilk. The words are grouped in intriguing categories that range from "Portmanteaux" to "Words That Make the Spell-Checker Ineffective." each entry includes a concise definition, etymology, and usage example–and many feature fascinating and hilarious commentaries by A Word A Day subscribers and the authors.

Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. Animal Words. 2. Latin Terms. 3. Words to Describe People I. 4. Lesser-Known Counterparts of Everyday Words. 5. Words for Odds and Ends. 6. Reduplicatives. 7. Discover the Theme I. 8. Gender-Specific Nouns. 9. Verbs. 10. Coined Words I. 11. Back-Formations. 12. Portmanteaux. 13. Short Words. 14. Words That Make Spell-Checker Ineffective. 15. Names for Things. 16. Words Formed by Metathesis. 17. Words Not to Put On Your Resume. 18. A Verbal Zoo. 19. Words From Medicine. 20. Semordnilap. 21. Words With Color as Metaphor. 22. Words that Make One Say, "I Didn't Know there was a Word for That!" 23. Wordpix I. 24. Wordpix II. 25. Wordpix III. 26. Words with Offbeat Pluralizations. 27. Words about Relations. 28. Collective Nouns. 29. Positive Words. 30. Discover the Theme II. 31. Lesser-Known Synonyms of Everyday Words. 32. Words from Speeches. 33. Words That Contain the Vowels AEIOU Once and Only Once. 34. Coined Words II. 35. English as a Global Language. 36. Eponyms. 37. Words about Words I. 38. Uncommon Words with Common Suffixes. 39. Words to Describe People II. 40. Ordinal Words. 41. Words for Odds and Ends. 42. Red-Herring Words. 43. Discover the Theme III. 44. Newer Words in the Oxford English Dictionary. 45. War of Words and Words of War. 46. Words for Physical Characteristics Used to Describe People Figuratively. 47. Words Evolved from Folk Etymologies. 48. Words about Words II. 49. Words Formed Using Combining Forms. 50. Words Formed Using Combining Forms. 51. Words for Body Parts That Are Used Metaphorically. 52. Red-Herring Words Revisited. 53. Words from Nature's Oeuvre. 54. Words about People Who Love Books. 55. Mondegreens and Other Linguistic Faux Pas. 57. Answers to the "Discover the Theme" Chapters. Bibliography. Index of Words.

About the Author

ANU GARG is the founder of, a.k.a. A Word A Day, which he has maintained since 1994. STUTI GARG is an entrepreneur and a founder of Namix, a trademark and naming solutions company. Anu and Stuti Garg live in Seattle.


"...Uncommon English words to enrich your vocabulary..." (India Today, 7 July 2003)

EAN: 9780471230328
ISBN: 0471230324
Publisher: Wiley (TP)
Dimensions: 21.5 x 14.2 x 1.6 centimetres (0.27 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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Tane Mcdonald on
this book smells, it really smells,
as soon as i opened it there was this farty smell which filled the room
then i had to go to the toilet and do a great big poo

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