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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Dog Days and Dandelions

Dog Days and Dandelions

A Lively Guide to the Animal Meanings Behind Everyday Words

Martha Barnette

St. Martin's Press


From apian (like a bee) to zodiac (little-animals circle), a word book that spots the animal origins of words and names

There are mice in your muscles, and blackbirds in your merlot. Behind adulation is a dog's wagging tail. Peculiar houses a herd of cattle. Grubby is crawling with bugs. Wordhound Martha Barnette collects more than 300 common (and a few not-so-common) words that have surprising animal roots. Tracing word origins back to ancient Greek and Latin as well as to European roots and American slang, the entries offer a guided tour through literature, science, folklore, politics, and more--with a wilderness of animal meanings at every turn.

For fledgling word sleuths as well as those who fawn over etymologies, this is a delightful smorgasbord for writers, students, and word lovers.

Praise for Dog Days and Dandelions

"Readers with a penchant for odd and underused words, such as myrmidon (an unprincipled lackey) and musteline (resembling a weasel) will find them aplenty here."—Publishers Weekly


Reviews from Goodreads

Martha Barnette

Martha Barnette is the author of two previous books about word origins, A Garden of Words and Ladyfingers and Nun's Tummies. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, she writes a daily word-origins newsletter for thousands of subscribers.

St. Martin's Press

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