It was not only in Skeat that he found words for his treasure- house, he found them also at haphazard in the shops, on advertisements, in the mouths of the plodding public. He kept repeating them to himself till they lost all instantaneous meaning for him and became wonderful vocables.
James Joyce (1882–1941), Irish author. Stephen Hero, episode 5, New Directions (1944).
The passage refers to Stephen Daedalus of Joyce's unfinished first attempt at an autobiographical novel. Less than half the manuscript exists, and it was published only after Joyce's death. Skeat refers to Skeat's Etymological Dictionary.