TELL YOUR PUP YOU LOVE HIM

David Crystal is the English etymologist and linguist everybody likes. His upcoming book The Story of English in 100 Words was excerpted in the Independent, which nearly completely muffed the actual list of 100 words (including misreading backformation as “back-information,” a novice error).

Here, then, are David Crystal’s hundred words in a form you can actually understand. (Century of coinage in parentheses.)

roe

The first word (5)

lea

Naming places (8)

and

An early abbreviation (8)

loaf

An unexpected origin (9)

out

Changing grammar (9)

street

A Latin loan (9)

mead

A window into history (9)

merry

A dialect survivor (9)

riddle

Playing with language (10)

what

An early exclamation (10)

bone-house

A word-painting (10)

brock

A Celtic arrival (10)

English

The language named (10)

bridegroom

Popular etymology (11)

arse

An impolite word (11)

swain

A poetic expression (12)

pork

An elegant word (13)

chattels

A legal word (13)

dame

A form of address (13)

skirt

A word doublet (13)

jail or gaol?

Competing words (13)

take away

A phrasal verb (13)

cuckoo

A sound-symbolic word (13)

cunt

A taboo word (13)

wicked

A radical alteration (13)

wee

A Scottish contribution (14)

grammar

A surprising link (14)

valentine

First name into word (14)

egg

A dialect choice (14)

royal

Word triplets (14)

money

A productive idiom (14)

music

A spelling in evolution (14)

taffeta

An early trade word (14)

information(s)

(Un)countable nouns (14)

gaggle

A collective noun (15)

doable

A mixing of languages (15)

matrix

A word from Tyndale (16)

alphabet

Talking about writing (16)

potato

A European import (16)

debt

A spelling reform (16)

ink-horn

A classical food (16)

dialect

Regional variation (16)

bodgery

Word-coiners (16)

undeaf

A word from Shakespeare (16)

skunk

An early Americanism (17)

shibboleth

A word from the King James Bible (17)

bloody

Emerging swear word (17)

lakh

A word from India (17)

fopdoodle

A lost word (17)

billion

A confusing ambiguity (17)

yogurt

A choice of spelling (17)

gazette

A taste of journalese (17)

tea

A social word (17)

disinterested

A confusable (17)

polite

A matter of manners (17)

dilly-dally

A reduplicating word (17)

rep

A clipping (17)

Americanism

A new nation (18)

edit

A backformation (18)

species

Classifying things (18)

ain’t

Right and wrong (18)

trek

A word from Africa (19)

hello

Progress through technology (19)

dragsman

Thieves’ cant (19)

lunch

U or non-U (19)

dude

A cool usage (19)

brunch

A portmanteau word (19)

dinkum

A word from Australia (19)

mipela

Pidgin English (19)

schmooze

A Yiddishism (19)

OK

Debatable origins (19)

ology

Suffix into word (19)

y’all

A new pronoun (19)

speech-craft

An Anglo-Saxonism (19)

DNA

Scientific terminology (20)

garage

A pronunciation problem (20)

escalator

Word into name into word (20)

robot

A global journey (20)

UFO

Alternative forms (20)

Watergate

Place-name into word (20)

doublespeak

Weasel words (20)

doobry

Useful nonsense (20)

blurb

A moment of arrival (20)

strine

A comic effect (20)

Alzheimer’s

Surname into word (20)

grand

Money slang (20)

mega

Prefix into word (20)

gotcha

A nonstandard spelling (20)

PC

Being politically correct (20)

bagonise

A nonce word (20)

webzine

An Internet compound (20)

app

A killer abb(20)

cherry-picking

Corporate speak (20)

LOL

Netspeak (20)

jazz

Word of the century (20)

sudoku

A modern loan (21)

muggle

A fiction word (21)

chillax

A fashionable blend (21)

unfriend

A new age (21)

Twittersphere

Future directions? (21)

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2011.10.20 13:53. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2011/10/20/100words/

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