An Atlas of Words

By John Bemelmans Marciano

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, Hardcover, 9781608193707, 170pp.

Publication Date: October 26, 2010


It's no secret that America's cookouts owe a lot to the exports of the European towns of Frankfurt and Hamburg, but we may not realize how much we've taken from two others: Budweis and Pilsen. Likewise, we know who to thank for Panama hats and Bermuda shorts. But did you know that Tuxedo Park, New York, brought Americans a staple of formal wear? Or that the Bikini Atoll gave us something dramatically less formal?
In this ingenious follow-up to the popular "Anonyponymous," John Bemelmans Marciano brings us a new, geographical, way of thinking about words. This book takes us on a lively tour of American, European, and world history, revealing our linguistic heritage in all its richness and--to use another toponym--serendipity. Illustrated with maps drawn in Marciano's witty style, this book is consistently smart, entertaining, and enlightening. It makes a perfect gift for language lovers, whether they come from Cologne, Germany, or the Canary Islands.

About the Author
John Bemelmans Marciano is the grandson of "Madeline" creator Ludwig Bemelmans. A self-taught illustrator, his previous books for Viking include "Delilah" and "Madeline Says Merci,"