2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions from by Charles Earle Funk, Tom Funk PDF

By Charles Earle Funk, Tom Funk

ISBN-10: 0883658453

ISBN-13: 9780883658451

Why do humans "take forty winks" and never 50...or 60, or 70? Did anyone actually "let the cat out of the bag" at one time limit? Has an individual really "gone on a wild goose chase"? discover the solutions to those questions and plenty of extra during this huge, immense assortment, constructed from 4 bestselling titles: A Hog on Ice, Thereby Hangs a story, Heavens to Betsy! and Horsefeathers and different Curious phrases. Dr. Funk, editor-in-chief of the Funk & Wagnalls usual Dictionary sequence, unearths the occasionally staggering, frequently a laugh, and regularly attention-grabbing roots of greater than 2,000 vernacular phrases and expressions. From "kangaroo courtroom" to "one-horse town", from "face the tune" to "hocus-pocus," it is an wonderful linguistic journey.

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Additional info for 2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions from White Elephants to a Song & Dance

Example text

But, as with many other phrases, this one, I think, undoubtedly originated among sailors. An experienced sailor, in the days of sailing vessels, was one who was familiar with the bewildering array of ropes leading to all parts of the many sheets of canvas under which the vessel sailed. " to split hairs In these days, one engaged in the occupation of splitting hairs might very likely be engaged in some profound scientific work­ trying, perhaps, to find some microscopic cause for the dividing of long hair at the ends.

He would have been living yet, perhaps, but the god Apollo, who was no friend, knew that Thetis had slipped-she had held Achilles by the heel when she dipped him and had neglected to get that heel wet. Apollo whispered that secret to Paris, mortal enemy of Achilles, who deliberately aimed an arrow at this unpro­ tected heel, the one spot that was vulnerable, and thus caused the death of the hero. ") 40 to paddle one's own canoe This was probably used in nothing but its literal sense until the appearance in Harper's Monthly, in 1 854, of a song by Dr.

Kangaroo court Nowadays, a kangaroo court is rarely heard of except in jails or similar institutions where a mock court, independent of regular legal procedure, is set up by the inmates to try a fellow prisoner for some alleged offense. Sometimes such courts are set up merely for amuse­ ment, as diversions against the tedium of imprisonment, and are then nothing but travesties of legal processes. Originally, however, these irregular courts were resorted to in frontier communities, usually for the trial and condemnation of persons committing offenses against the community.

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2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions from White Elephants to a Song & Dance by Charles Earle Funk, Tom Funk

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