More than just a dictionary, though that is what it is at base, this book is a linguistics lesson, an history lesson, and an entertainment, all wrapped into one. Divided into six sections, corresponding roughly with historical periods in the development of English, with one geographic (American) thrown in for good measure, the words are given, along with a history of meaning, a derivation (or sometimes several, when which one is uncertain), and, often, a relevant, illustrative quote. I found the two earliest sections the most interesting, perhaps because i find it fascinating to know the ultimate indo-european root of the words (though i do wonder, what lies behind those roots?), and the predominate in these two sections. This is a fascinating book; good for a quick browse or, as i have done, reading from front to back like a novel. Carver is knowledgable, and able to pleasingly convey his knowledge to me.