Interesting Stories about Curious Words: From Stealing Thunder to Red Herrings (Hardback)Susie Dent (author)
The doyenne of Dictionary Corner returns with another lexicographical marvel that unearths the etymologies of well-known phrases and sayings to hugely entertaining effect.
Did you know that...
Stealing someone's thunder is based on a real event; the original freelances were knights for hire ('free' + 'lance'); Nelson was the first to turn a blind eye (putting a telescope to his missing eye to ignore orders); Gordon Bennett was a real (very badly behaved) person; as was Jack the lad; pulling someone's leg was an 18th century robber's trick; and buttering up came from the Indian custom of throwing balls of ghee at statues of gods to ask for favours?
This is just the tiniest taste of the many fascinating tales and histories behind our everyday words and phrases. In Interesting Stories about Curious Words, Susie Dent, Britain's cleverest lexicographer, linguistic expert and much-loved national treasure, explores all the very best red herrings, cock and bull stories, white elephants and nine-day wonders in the English language. There are enough stories to furnish a hundred conversations in a wonderful collection for everyone who loves words.
Publisher: John Murray Press
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 540 g
Dimensions: 222 x 140 x 38 mm
Susie Dent is a one-off. She breathes life and fun into words and language - Pam Ayres
Susie Dent is a national treasure - Richard Osman
With this book, readers won't be lost for words: we'll be happily lost within them - Irish Sunday Business Post
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“A magical read!”
This is the first book I’ve read of Susie Dent’s and I could not put it down! A really fascinating read full of fun facts. It’s made me think again about many well known phrases.
“Not every phrase has its origin”
An interesting read but a number of the words and phrases don't have an origin. It was the origin of phrases that interests me.
That said it's a very easy bedtime pick to help you unwind
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