A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi"

A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi" : The Origin of Foreign Words Used in English

3.53 (145 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$14.95

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


"English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over, and goes through their pockets for loose grammar." -James D. Nicoll Organized alphabetically for easy reference, "A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi"" is an accessible lexicon of foreign words and phrases used in English, containing everything from aficionado (Spanish) to zeitgeist (German). Inside you'll find translations, definitions, origins, and a descriptive timeline of each item's evolution. Entries include: A la carte: from the card or of the menu (French) Fiasco: complete failure (Italian) Dungarees: thick cotton cloth/overalls (Hindi) Diaspora: dispersion (Greek) Smorgasbord: bread and butter (Swedish) Cognoscenti: those who know (Italian) Compos mentis: having mastery of one's mind; with it (Latin) Attractively packaged with black and white illustrations, this whimsical yet authoritative book is a great gift for any etymologically fascinated individual. Use this book to reacquaint yourself with the English language, and you'll be compos mentis in no time."show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 175 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 20mm | 281.23g
  • Reader's Digest Association
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1606520571
  • 9781606520574
  • 462,324

Rating details

145 ratings
3.53 out of 5 stars
5 19% (27)
4 30% (43)
3 40% (58)
2 10% (14)
1 2% (3)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X