May 7, 2020


Literally: Amazing Words and Where They Come From by Patrick Skipworth and Nicholas Stevenson takes a visually stunning look at the origins of the English Language. 

English words come from all over the world, and Literally focuses on twelve that have particularly interesting stories in terms of origin, change in definition, and/or distance traveled. Words include ukuele (from the Hawaiian word for "jumping flea"), zero (from the Arabic word for "empty"), and mummy (from the Persian word for "wax). Each word is brightly illustrated in edge-to-edge gouache images, visually defined within the context of a single scene that exudes the essence of the word. In addition to the illustrated definition, every word has a colorful call-out that highlights pronunciation, origin, English meaning, original meaning, and surprising facts (did you know that the word companion comes to us courtesy of eating bread with people? Thank you, bread!). At the back of the book are an author's note and some further illustrated information on language families and how language is grouped around the world.

Literally: Amazing Words and Where They Come From published earlier this week from What on Earth Books!

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