Once Upon a Word: A Word-Origin Dictionary for Kids—Building Vocabulary Through Etymology, Definitions & Stories (Paperback)

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Once Upon a Word: A Word-Origin Dictionary for Kids—Building Vocabulary Through Etymology, Definitions & Stories By Jess Zafarris Cover Image


Where do words come from?—Teaching kids ages 9 to 12 vocabulary through word origins

The English language is made up of words from different places, events, and periods of time. Each of those words has an exciting story to tell us about where, when, how, and why they came about. Once Upon a Word is packed with easy-to-understand definitions and awesome word origin stories. With this dictionary for kids, you can understand the history and meaning of English words, improve your vocabulary and spelling, and learn to play with language.

Explore how weird words like gnome, fun words like zombie, and common words like caterpillar came to exist. Discover why some words sound funnier than others (like cackle, sizzle, and twang) and why some groups of words start with the same few letters (like hydrate, hydrogen, and fire hydrant). In this dictionary for kids, there's a whole world of English words to uncover!

This unique dictionary for kids includes:
  • Roots & branches—Learn about the building blocks that make up words, called roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
  • Kid-friendly definitions—Look up definitions designed for your reading level in this dictionary for kids.
  • Word tidbits—Find out where your favorite food words got their start, from bacon to marshmallow, spaghetti, yogurt, and beyond.

See how the English language evolved with this colorful dictionary for kids.

About the Author

JESS ZAFARRIS has been writing about etymology for more than 10 years at UselessEtymology.com and on Twitter @UselessEty. She has an MA in journalism and mass communications and a BA in English literature.

Praise For…

“This thorough and visually delightful book is a yellow-brick road paved with ‘a-ha!’ moments. It is written in an engaging style that will open the door wide for young minds to enter the magical world where language meets history. I expect it will inspire many of them to a lifetime of discovery in an overlooked field.” —Douglas Harper, etymonline.com

Once Upon a Word makes learning new words fun and efficient. Jess Zafarris has written a book that is accessible to kids and educational enough for adults. Every parent and educator should keep a copy for engaged minds on hand.” —Jordan Rosenfeld, author of How to Write a Page Turner

“As kids flip through this book, they'll feel like they're decoding secret messages from the past. This book teaches an important lesson: by understanding language we can better understand each other and the world around us. I love that.” —Aubre Andrus, award-winning children's book author
Product Details
ISBN: 9781646112593
ISBN-10: 1646112598
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Publication Date: February 25th, 2020
Pages: 268
Language: English