The Life of Words by Kristoffer Nyrop (A Distinguished Danish Linguist Displays 10 Ways We Use Words to Explain Things)

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Dr. Finkin’s masterful translation of this highly regarded yet underutilized work by Kristoffer Nyrop is an exceptional English presentation of the changing life of words from a renowned Danish linguist


“The book’s title is not a misnomer. Words do indeed lead an active life. They change their meaning and application, fall into bad ways, destroy their competitors, disappear, and sometimes return…This book is meant for anyone who is curious about language, the most powerful instrument we, human beings, have.”
-Professor Anatoly Liberman,
Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch,,br> University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Table of Contents

Foreword by Anatoly Liberman
English Translator’s Note
German Translator’s Note
Chapter I: Euphemism
Chapter II: Voces mediӕ
Chapter III: Semantic Narrowing
Chapter IV: Semantic Expansion
Chapter V: Metaphor
Chapter VI: Catachresis
Chapter VII: Naming
Chapter VIII: Sound Harmony; Alliteration; Rhyme
Chapter IX: Misunderstood Words; Figurative Expressions; Puns; “Railroad Etymologies”
Chapter X: Designation of the function of many saints by their names: Explanation of various animal and plant names on the basis of phonetic associations’ Folk medicine

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