Red Herrings and White Elephants

Author: Fatıj Derim

Publisher: VELLIM .BOOK

ISBN: N.A

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 9324

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Mad hatter . . . pie in the sky . . . egg on your face. We use these phrases every day, yet how many of us know what they really mean or where they came from? From bringing home the bacon to leaving no stone unturned, the English language is peppered with hundreds of common idioms borrowed from ancient traditions and civilizations throughout the world. In Red Herrings and White Elephants, Albert Jack has uncovered the amazing and sometimes downright bizarre stories behind many of our most familiar and eccentric modes of expression: If you happen to be a bootlegger, your profession recalls the Wild West outlaws who sold illegal alcohol by concealing slender bottles of whiskey in their boots. If you're on cloud nine, you owe a nod to the American Weather Bureau's classification of clouds, the ninth topping out all others at a mountainous 40,000 feet. If you opt for the hair of the dog the morning after, you're following...

Red Herrings and White Elephants

The Origins of the Phrases We Use Everyd

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061835153

Category: Reference

Page: 272

View: 2681

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Mad hatter . . . pie in the sky . . . egg on your face. We use these phrases every day, yet how many of us know what they really mean or where they came from? From bringing home the bacon to leaving no stone unturned, the English language is peppered with hundreds of common idioms borrowed from ancient traditions and civilizations throughout the world. In Red Herrings and White Elephants, Albert Jack has uncovered the amazing and sometimes downright bizarre stories behind many of our most familiar and eccentric modes of expression: If you happen to be a bootlegger, your profession recalls the Wild West outlaws who sold illegal alcohol by concealing slender bottles of whiskey in their boots. If you're on cloud nine, you owe a nod to the American Weather Bureau's classification of clouds, the ninth topping out all others at a mountainous 40,000 feet. If you opt for the hair of the dog the morning after, you're following the advice of medieval English doctors, who recommended rubbing the hair of a dog into the wound left by the animal's bite. A delightful compendium of anecdotes on everything from minding your p's and q's to pulling out all the stops, Red Herrings and White Elephants is an essential handbook for language-lovers of all ages.

Shaggy Dogs and Black Sheep

The Origins of Even More Phrases We Use Everyday

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN: 9781981439256

Category:

Page: 236

View: 9029

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Albert Jack's Shaggy Dogs and Black Sheep is a compulsively readable, highly enlightening look at the phrases we use all the time but rarely consider. The English language is crammed with colourful phrases and sayings that we use without thinking every day. It's only when we're asked who smart Alec or Holy Moly were, where feeling 'in the pink' or 'once in a blue moon' come from, or even what letting the cat out of the bag really means that we realize that there's far more to English than we might have thought. Luckily enough, we now have Albert Jack. And rather than resting on his laurels after the enormous success of Red Herrings and White Elephants, he has continued his search around the world, exploring the origins of hundreds more phrases. The fascinating stories he has uncovered come from the rich traditions of the navy, army and law to confidence tricksters and highwaymen, from the practices of ancient civilizations to Music Hall and pubs. Determined to chase each shaggy dog story to the bitter end, his discoveries are even stranger and more memorable this time round. From the skin of your teeth to the graveyard shift - you'll never speak (or even think) English in the same way again. Albert Jack has become something of a publishing phenomenon, clocking up hundreds of thousands of sales with his series of bestselling adventures tracing the fantastic stories behind everyday phrases (Red Herrings and White Elephants), the world's great mysteries (Loch Ness Monsters and Raining Frogs) nursery rhymes (Pop Goes the Weasel) pub names (The Old Dog and Duck and food history (What Caesar did for My Salad

It's a Wonderful Word

The Real Origins of Our Favourite Words

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446456099

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 1955

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Did you know that an assassin is a hashish-eater and a yokel a country woodpecker? That Dr Mesmer mesmerised patients back to health or that Samuel Pepys enjoyed a good game of handicap? While we're at it, what have spondulics to do with spines or lawyers with avocados? In It's a Wonderful Word, bestselling author Albert Jack collects over 500 of the strangest, funniest-sounding and most delightful words in the English language, and traces them back to their often puzzling origins. While brushing up on your gibberish or gobbledygook, discover why bastards should resent travelling salesmen, why sheets should remain on tenterhooks and why you should never set down a tumbler before finishing your drink. From blotto to bamboozle and from claptrap to quango, Albert Jack's addictive anecdotes bring the world's most colourful language to life and are guaranteed to surprise and entertain.

Flying by the Seat of Your Pants

Surprising Origins of Everyday Expressions

Author: Harry Oliver

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101478276

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 224

View: 4666

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Let's "cut to the chase" and "make no bones about it"-this book will have you "pleased as punch." Sowing your wild oats, throwing in the towel, painting the town red...Harry Oliver reveals the fascinating stories behind these and other strange turns of phrase steeped in the weird and wonderful history and traditions of everyday life. From quirky terms to street and city names and more, this book answers the questions you never thought to ask. ? What ancient empire coined the phrase "green with envy"? ? Who was the first person to "get someone's goat"? ? Which writer first penned, "I'll eat my hat!"

March Hares and Monkeys' Uncles

Author: Harry Oliver

Publisher: John Blake

ISBN: 9781843581529

Category: Humor

Page: 258

View: 3729

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From the publishers of the Number 1 bestseller Red Herrings and Whitelephants Why is a March hare mad? Why do we sometimes call ourselves aonkey's uncle? Why do cricketers who don't score anything get out for a duck?ho was Gordon Bennett? Whilst we might choose our words carefully, wearely think about the origins behind the many phrases, place names andxpressions we use everyday. Yet, behind these words lies a fascinating story,teeped in the weird and wonderful history and traditions of everyday life.rom names of streets and public houses, to the names of countries, seas andceans, this book answers the questions you've always had about the languagee all use. So if it's all Greek to you and seems like hocus pocus, forete's sake don't be left on tenterhooks, have a gander at this idiosyncraticome. Make no bones about it - it's the bee's knees!

That's Bollocks

Urban Legends, Conspiracy Theories and Old Wives' Tales

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN: 9781981442423

Category:

Page: 170

View: 536

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Albert Jack gathers together all the strangest, sickest, funniest and most unforgettable urban legends and recounts them with his usual deadpan humour. More than just a collection of urban legends, this is also a detective story. Exploring the real events behind conspiracy theories, the exaggerations of history and the assumptions of old wives' tales (and self-help books amongst many, many other things, Albert Jack shows us that the truth can definitely be stranger than fiction. Albert Jack has become something of a publishing phenomenon, clocking up hundreds of thousands of sales with his series of bestselling adventures tracing the fantastic stories behind everyday phrases (Red Herrings and White Elephants), the world's great mysteries (Loch Ness Monsters and Raining Frogs), pub names (The Old Dog and Duck) food history (What Caesar did for My Salad) and nursery rhymes (Pop Goes the Weasel). AlbertJack.Com

The Secret History of Nursery Rhymes

Author: Linda Alchin

Publisher: Linda Alchin

ISBN: 0956748619

Category: Folklore

Page: 96

View: 610

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This book uncovers the Secret History of Nursery Rhymes. Many of the ... origins of the humble nursery rhyme are believed to be associated with actual events in history, with references to murder and persecution, betrayal, greed and to tyrants and royalty. Rhymes are usually short and therefore easy to remember, a critical factor during the times when many people were unable to read or write. They were passed verbally from one generation to the next before the invention of the printing press. Reciting old Nursery Rhymes to our children is one of the most pleasurable first steps to developing their language skills and extending their vocabulary.

They Laughed at Galileo

How the Great Inventors Proved Their Critics Wrong

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

ISBN: 1632202360

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 272

View: 2984

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A humorous account of great inventors and their critics who predicted failure. They Laughed at Galileo takes a humorous and reflective look at one thousand years of the development of humankind: those who dreamt, those who taught, those who opposed, and those who, ultimately, did. At some point in modern history, each and every one of our inventions and discoveries was first envisioned and then developed by a single person, or a handful of people, who dreamt of the seemingly impossible. For them, the future was clear and obvious, but for the vast majority, including the acknowledged experts of their days, such belief was sheer folly. For just about everything that has improved our modern lifestyles in a way that our ancestors could not possibly imagine, there was once a lone dreamer proclaiming, “It can be done.” That dreamer was nearly always opposed by a team of “enlightened” contemporaries publicly declaring, “It cannot be done.” Well, yes it could. Marconi’s wireless radio transmissions were initially deemed pointless. Edward L. Drake’s eventual success on August 27, 1859, was called the day “the crazy man first struck oil.” Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs was considered a “ridiculous fiction.” Each of these inventions has had a profound effect on the course of human history, and each one was rejected, resisted, and ridiculed in its day. Ultimately, the innovators who brought these into existence provided invaluable contributions to science and the culture of humankind.

Black Cats & Four-Leaf Clovers

The Origins of Old Wives' Tales and Superstitions in Our Everyday Lives

Author: Harry Oliver

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101442816

Category: Reference

Page: 272

View: 8380

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Cross your fingers, knock on wood, and clutch your rabbit's foot a little tighter. In this charming and endlessly diverting book, Harry Oliver delves into the stories behind the traditions and superstitions that permeate our everyday lives, unearthing the fascinating histories of these weird and wonderful notions. So before you search for any more four-leaf clovers, worry about the next Friday the 13th, or avoid walking under any ladders, dip into this amazing tome and discover: *Why breaking a mirror brings seven years of bad luck. *The best day of the week to ask for a favor. *Why you should never jump over a child in Turkey.

Blue Moons and Black Markets

The Origins Of Even More Phrases We Use Every Day

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Albert Jack Publishing via PublishDrive

ISBN: N.A

Category: Humor

Page: 236

View: 2736

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From the internationally best selling author of Red Herrings and White Elephants, Pop Goes the Weasel and What Caesar Did for my Salad. Why do people put their "skeletons in a closet," "have a hunch," "get the cold shoulder," "get dressed up to the nines," or "call a spade a spade?" These phrases are used every day, yet most people have little or no idea where most of them come from. In Blue Moons and Black Markets, Albert Jack takes readers on a journey through the curious- and often bizarre-origins of hundreds of their favorite idioms and expressions. For example, "wearing your heart on your sleeve" comes from the Middle Ages, when a lady would "give her heart" in the form of a handkerchief pinned to the sleeve of a knight who was about to go into battle. And calling someone the "black sheep in the family" refers to a thousands- year-old belief that a black lamb in a flock was unpopular because its fleece was undyeable and therefore less valuable. With Blue Moons and Black Markets, any language-lover can feel like a "Smart Aleck" - and also know exactly who that was.

Bushmeat and Livelihoods

Wildlife Management and Poverty Reduction

Author: Glyn Davies,David Brown

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0470691697

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 497

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This book explores the links between bushmeat and livelihoods in Africa, with a focus on the human dimension of the debate. Assembles biological, social and economic perspectives that illuminate the bushmeat debate Features a series of case studies that explore what species survive different intensities of bushmeat hunting and trapping Examines the shape and size of household bushmeat consumption and market trading Reviews governance and institutional impacts on wildlife management; lessons learned from agriculture, forest plant product, and development sectors; and perspectives from Asia and Latin America Provides an excellent resource for students and policy makers in wildlife management, conservation, and development

What Caesar Did for My Salad

The Secret Meanings of Our Favourite Dishes

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Particular Books

ISBN: 9780141043449

Category: Cooking

Page: 368

View: 2858

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Originally published: Great Britain: Particular Books, 2010.

As Right as Rain

The Meaning and Origins of Popular Expressions

Author: Caroline Taggart

Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books

ISBN: 1782430938

Category:

Page: 302

View: 4436

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Would you be down in the dumps if, when asked the definition of certain phrases, it was all Greek to you? Let's not beat about the bush: the English language is littered with linguistic quirks, which, out of context, seem completely peculiar. If you can't quite cut the mustard, this book will explain how on earth 'off the cuff' came to express improvisation, why a 'gut feeling' is more intuitive than a brainwave, and who the heck is 'happy' Larry. These expressions and countless more become a piece of cake once you've read As Right as Rain - perfect for any Tom, Dick or Harry with a love of language.

I Love It When You Talk Retro

Hoochie Coochie, Double Whammy, Drop a Dime, and the Forgotten Origins of American Speech

Author: Ralph Keyes

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 9781429952477

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 320

View: 3977

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An entertaining and informative book about the fashion and fads of language Today's 18-year-olds may not know who Mrs. Robinson is, where the term "stuck in a groove" comes from, why 1984 was a year unlike any other, how big a bread box is, how to get to Peyton Place, or what the term Watergate refers to. I Love It When You Talk Retro discusses these verbal fossils that remain embedded in our national conversation long after the topic they refer to has galloped off into the sunset. That could be a person (Mrs. Robinson), product (Edsel), past bestseller (Catch-22), radio or TV show (Gangbusters), comic strip (Alphonse and Gaston), or advertisement (Where's the beef?) long forgotten. Such retroterms are words or phrases in current use whose origins lie in our past. Ralph Keyes takes us on an illuminating and engaging tour through the phenomenon that is Retrotalk—a journey, oftentimes along the timelines of American history and the faultlines of culture, that will add to the word-lover's store of trivia and obscure references. "The phrase "drinking the Kool-Aid" is a mystery to young people today, as is "45rpm." Even older folks don't know the origins of "raked over the coals" and "cut to the chase." Keyes (The Quote Verifier) uses his skill as a sleuth of sources to track what he calls "retrotalk": "a slippery slope of puzzling allusions to past phenomena." He surveys the origins of "verbal fossils" from commercials (Kodak moment), jurisprudence (Twinkie defense), movies (pod people), cartoons (Caspar Milquetoast) and literature (brave new world). Some pop permutations percolated over decades: Radio's Take It or Leave It spawned a catch phrase so popular the program was retitled The $64 Question and later returned as TV's The $64,000 Question. Keyes's own book Is There Life After High School? became both a Broadway musical and a catch phrase. Some entries are self-evident or have speculative origins, but Keyes's nonacademic style and probing research make this both an entertaining read and a valuable reference work." --Publishers Weekly

An Apple A Day

Old-Fashioned Proverbs and Why They Still Work

Author: Caroline Taggart

Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books

ISBN: 1843176521

Category: Social Science

Page: 264

View: 3729

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Does absence really make the heart grow fonder? Can beggars be choosers? Is it always better late than never? Proverbs are short, well-known, pithy sayings that offer advice or words of encouragement and are used in everyday English without much thought ever being given to their meanings, or indeed, usefulness. In An Apple A Day Caroline Taggart explores the truth behind our favourite proverbs, their history and whether they offer any genuine help to the recipient. Did you know that The Old Testament has an entire book devoted to proverbs? Or that 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' is a proverb from falconry that dates back to the Middle Ages? Many proverbs are still in use today, including the very famous 'slow and steady wins the race', which derives from one of the many fables of Aesop. Lighthearted but authoritative, An Apple A Day proves that proverbs are as useful today as they ever were.

Hair of the Dog to Paint the Town Red

The Curious Origins of Everyday Sayings and Fun Phrases

Author: Andrew Thompson

Publisher: Ulysses Press

ISBN: 1612436951

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 280

View: 6232

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400 intriguing, entertaining, and often hilarious etymological journies English is filled with curious, intriguing and bizarre phrases. This book reveals the surprising, captivating and even hilarious origins behind 400 of them, including: •Read between the Lines •Cat Got Your Tongue? •Put a Sock in It •Close, but No Cigar •Bring Home the Bacon •Caught Red-Handed •Under the Weather •Raining Cats and Dogs Perfect for trivia and language lovers alike, this entertaining collection is the ultimate guide to understanding these baffling mini mysteries of the English language.

Sidetracked

A Kurt Wallander Mystery (5)

Author: Henning Mankell

Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

ISBN: 1400031567

Category: Fiction

Page: 420

View: 6354

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A teenage girl self-immolates, the former Minister of Justice is murdered and scalped, and suddenly Inspector Kurt Wallander finds himself searching for Sweden's first serial killer.