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About Jess Zafarris
Jess Zafarris is the author of Once Upon a Word: A Word-Origin Dictionary for Kids. She is also an award-winning innovator of digital content and marketing solutions and a prolific online and print journalist, having served as Audience Engagement Editor at Adweek and the Executive Director of Marketing & Communications for Gotham Ghostwriters. Before that, she served as Content Strategist and Digital Content Director for Writer’s Digest and Script magazine. Her experience in digital and print content direction and marketing spans such roles as editor-in-chief of HOW magazine and online content director of HOW and PRINT magazine, as well as writing for the The Hot Sheet, the Denver Business Journal, ABC News, and the Memphis Commercial Appeal. She has a bachelors in English Literature (with minors in Arabic and Anthropology) from DePaul University and a masters in Journalism & Mass Communications from the University of Colorado Boulder. She spends much of her spare time researching curious word histories and writing about them at UselessEtymology.com and on TikTok @jesszafarris. Follow her at @jesszafarris or @uselessety on Twitter, or on Instagram at @uselessetymology.
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Where do words come from?―Teaching kids ages 9 to 12 vocabulary through word origins
The English language is made up of words from different places, events, and periods of time. Each of those words has an exciting story to tell us about where, when, how, and why they came about. Once Upon a Word is packed with easy-to-understand definitions and awesome word origin stories. With this dictionary for kids, you can understand the history and meaning of English words, improve your vocabulary and spelling, and learn to play with language.
Explore how weird words like gnome, fun words like zombie, and common words like caterpillar came to exist. Discover why some words sound funnier than others (like cackle, sizzle, and twang) and why some groups of words start with the same few letters (like hydrate, hydrogen, and fire hydrant). In this dictionary for kids, there’s a whole world of English words to uncover!
This unique dictionary for kids includes:
- Roots & branches―Learn about the building blocks that make up words, called roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
- Kid-friendly definitions―Look up definitions designed for your reading level in this dictionary for kids.
- Word tidbits―Find out where your favorite food words got their start, from bacon to marshmallow, spaghetti, yogurt, and beyond.
See how the English language evolved with this colorful dictionary for kids.