Melvyn Bragg book

Michael Quinion TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Thu Nov 27 17:40:22 UTC 2003

> Anyway, it appears that some OED contributor read through at least
> part of Crockett's memoirs and did not find 'skedaddle', 'hunky-dory'
> and 'splendiferous', which is a small piece of negative evidence
> against Melvyn Bragg''s claim.

Thanks for that (and to others for their comments, both online and
off). It doesn't surprise me to hear this, since I've found so many
folk etymologies reproduced as fact in his book (he even believes
that "tip" is from "To Insure Promptness") that one more error of
etymology would not be surprising. It's a great pity, as Melvyn Bragg
is a first-rate populariser of culture and his sections on the social
and historical factors that have influenced the development of the
language are beautifully told.

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: <TheEditor at>
Web: <>

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