This book is an essential resource for those who wish to fully understand the infinite variety of words in the English Language. Taking the reader on an historical journey to the origin of the language, the book tells how conquests of our island, both military and cultural, have shaped the words that we use today. Teachers will benefit from the colourful examples of the various distinctive characteristics of each language group described. A photocopiable appendix gives a useful list of prefixes and roots used in scientific words, which will be enlightening for students of all abilities. Those working with dyslexic pupils will find this part of the book particularly helpful. The book concludes by discussing the benefits and drawbacks brought about by our rich legacy of vocabulary.