Dictionary of Latin and Greek Origins: A Comprehensive Guide to the Classical Origins of English Words

Bob Moore and Maxine Moore

2000. Barnes & Noble Books


This modestly-sized book has come through for me often. The entries are deeply researched and effectively organized. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in the main part of the book, there’s an extensive word list at the back. You look up the word and it will tell you which root to look for. That being the case, you might find yourself surprised at what and how you find what you’re looking for.

To quote Bono – I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. There are some interesting information gaps. There’s no entry for “cap” or “capit” – latin roots that mean “head”. There’s not even a word that means “head” in the glossary.

This image is from the most recent paperback version published by NTC Publishing Group. Have no idea what NTC stands for. I tried looking it up and apparently…it stands for just about everything under the sun.  I searched it on the interweb and hundreds of hits came up. Sigh…

Still, it’s a good book and should definitely be expanded in future editions.  I used it to create a vocabulary unit for my Language Arts classes.  Keep it alongside your dictionary, your thesaurus, your MLA and APA handbooks, and your Chicago Manual.

The Chicago Manual of Style

I was introduced to this in college and have kept one around ever since. Very helpful if you do any kind of desktop publishing or have ambitions for more high-end publishing.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition (Red Kivar Binding with Jacket)

I don’t endorse any particular dictionary, but I have a couple of these in my classroom and they are pretty decent, but the print is too, too small.

MLA: The Easy Way! [Updated for MLA 7th Edition]

Is MLA becoming obsolete?

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition

Widely accepted, useful, easy to work with. I think the day is coming where it will supersede MLA.

Roget’s International Thesaurus, 6th Edition

There is a skill one needs to get the best use out of a thesaurus.  One needs to have a capacity to distinguish degrees of sensation.  Otherwise, how do you know whether you need “smelly” or “stinky”? How do you know that something is “scorching” and not “scalding”? 


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