“A literate exploration of why we use—or mangle—our native tongue.”—USA Today
Bill Bryson celebrates America’s magnificent offspring in the book that reveals once and for all how a dusty western hamlet with neither woods nor holly came to be known as Hollywood…and exactly why Mr. Yankee Doodle call his befeathered cap “Macaroni.”
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
With his trademark gift for dryly funny observation, Bill Bryson takes on the task of explaining what happened to the English language after it migrated to the New World. The unconventional storyteller leads us on a hilariously circuitous journey through anecdotes that feel simultaneously trivial and profound (another Bryson trademark). Thanks to him, we discover the etymologies of words like “raccoon” and “succotash” and find out how financial jargon seeped into everyday American speech. Along the way, Bryson weaves in a stunning amount of U.S. history, giving us a front-row seat to the country’s strange evolution from remote colony to global superpower.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I'm a Bill Bryson fan. But this one didn't work for me. If you are into linquistics and etymology, this book is for you. Some interesting narrative here. But this is the first Bryson book I won't be reading twice.
One of the few bad Bryson books
It’s so riddled with errors that are obvious to me that I cannot trust anything I read in this book.