From Skedaddle to Selfie: Words of the Generations (Review)

From Skedaddle to Selfie by Allan Metcalf

4 Stars

I received a NetGalley copy in exchange for an honest review.
I have a love of words. Once when I was younger I tried to start a collection of words by writing new ones down in a notebook.
It didn’t work. It bored me and I gave up.
However, this is to say that I have a great interest in words of all sorts, and I also have a great interest in learning things that I don’t need to know, but give me facts that I can later tell to all of my friends.
When I was scrolling through NetGalley and saw this book, I was excited to read it.
‘From Skedaddle to Selfie’ is a book on the history of words. The author has taken many words that are common today and did quite a bit of research into their backgrounds, including where they came from, their first mentions, and how the word has changed over the generations. We also learn some of the events surrounding the birth of the word and how those affected its meaning, and how later events caused the word’s meaning to slowly warp.
Some words that I had found the background particularly interesting were G.I. Joe, the negative connotation of which has rather disappeared; O.K., a word whose ‘birth’ I had never before thought about; and we also get to read about the reaction to the new word, ‘sexy’ in the 20s (they were horrified).
The book was entertaining, and I now have a lot of interesting facts to share with people that I know. I recommend this book to word lovers and knowledge junkies alike. If you’re both of those, so much the better.

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