Phil Cousineau Discusses the Lineage of Words

Phil Cousineau discusses his hew book, The Painted Word: A Treasure Chest of Remarkable Words and Their Origins (Cleis Press’ Viva Editions) at City Lights, September 13, 2012.

Cousineau, linguistic detective and dictionary delver, is back with a priceless treasury of word stories and literary obscura that will enchant any lover of language. The words themselves range from the commonplace, such as biscuit, a twice-baked cake for Roman soldiers, to loanwords like chaparral, courtesy of Basque shepards who came to the American West; from word-reversals such as silly, which evolved from “holy” to “goofy” in a mere thousand years, and to words well worthy of revival, such as carrytale, a wandering storyteller. Cousineau’s journey through the history and mystery of words will enlighten as it delights.

Phil Cousineau is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, teacher and editor, independent scholar and travel leader, storyteller and TV host. He is the author of numerous books including Wordcatcher
An Odyssey into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words. He lives in San Francisco.