Do you know why...a mortgage is literally a death pledge? ...why guns have girls' names? ...why salt is related to soldier? You're about to find out... The Etymologicon (e-t?-'ma-la-ji-kan) is :Witty (wi-te\): Full of clever humor; Erudite (er-?-dit): Showing knowledge; Ribald (ri-b?ld): Crude, offensive. The Etymologicon is a completely unauthorized guide to the strange underpinnings of the English language. It explains: how you get from "gruntled" to "disgruntled"; why you are absolutely right to believe that your meager salary barely covers "money for salt"; how the biggest chain of coffee shops in the world (hint: Seattle) connects to whaling in Nantucket; and what precisely the Rolling Stones have to do with gardening.