Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Anyone who loves words and interesting historical anecdotes is sure to adore Anonyponymous: The Forgotten People Behind Everyday Words.  I discovered this one through my library's Wowbrary newsletter, which I continue to love.  The book was so fascinating and funny that I found myself reading most of it aloud to my husband as we both laughed.  Did you know that the cardigan sweater was named after James Thomas Brudenell, the seventh Earl of Cardigan - who also happens to be the man who led the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade?  Or that the Italian term paparazzo comes from a character in a Fellini film who was named after an actual person?  Read this book to find out how and why!  It is a slim and entertaining volume, and I may just have to buy myself a copy.  My very favorite entry is for the word galvanize, named for the 18th-century Italian physician Luigi Galvani because of an incident involving a scalpel, a dead frog, and an electricity machine.  Go on, you know you want to find out more.  Pick up this book!

Anonyponymous: The Forgotten People behind Everyday Words by John Bemelmans Marciano (Bloomsbury, 2009)

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