Mr. Keyes’s exploration of the origins of coinages reveals how utterly democratic the English language is. It has no gatekeeper, no central authority, no hierarchy. Shakespeare and Milton sit cheek by jowl with George Ade, the largely forgotten Midwestern humorist and author of the early twentieth century, to whose “Fables in Slang” column we owe bellhop, keen, piffle, and tightwad. Nobel Prize-winning scientists share a pew with the writers of cartoons and comic books and Dr. Seuss. And all are in the shadow of the great coiner known as Anonymous.