Trend Watch


This book is big

The publication of Hamilton: The Revolution caused lookups for the word tome to spike at Merriam-Webster. It seems that creator Lin-Manuel Miranda's hashtag #Hamiltome led more than a few people to consult the dictionary.

Tome means “a large or scholarly book,” but it originally meant “a volume forming part of a larger work” (book can also be used in a similar way, as in “the books of the New Testament”). Today the word usually implies “a very large, thick book.”

Tome came through Latin and French from the Greek word tomos, meaning “slice,” “section,” or “roll of papyrus.” The ultimate root is the Greek word temnein meaning “to cut,” from the cutting of papyrus rolls in order to separate smaller sections of a written work before the invention of books.

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