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Black Sheep and Lame Ducks: The Origins of Even More Phrases We Use Every Day

Black Sheep and Lame Ducks: The Origins of Even More Phrases We Use Every Day Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The fun and fascinating follow-up to the international bestseller Red Herrings and White Elephants

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 Black Sheep and Lame Ducks, 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 Black Sheep and Lame Ducks, any language-lover can feel like a "Smart Aleck"-and also know exactly who that was.

Synopsis:

The author of "Red Herrings and White Elephants" takes an in-depth look at even more phrases we use every day, taking readers on a journey through the curious--and often bizarre--origins of hundreds of their favorite idioms and expressions.

Synopsis:

Have you heard the one about…

• Walt Disneys frozen body?

• Coca-Cola owning Santa Claus?

• Alligators living in New York City sewers?

We all love a good story. But where do the urban legends, conspiracy theories, and old wives tales we hear every day really originate? Albert Jack explores the best, strangest, and funniest of the tales so many of us take as gospel, and uncovers some eye-popping true stories that are even more far-fetched than their mythical counterparts. From Robin Hood to JFKs brain, from hamsters under carpets to mysterious travelers, youll never be short of a scary or bizarre anecdote again.

About the Author

Albert Jack is a writer and researcher living in Cape Town, South Africa. He is the author of Pop Goes the Weasel and Red Herrings and White Elephants.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780399535123
Publisher:
Perigee Books
Subject:
Word Lists
Illustrator:
Page, Ama
Author:
Jack, Albert
Subject:
Trivia
Subject:
Linguistics - Etymology
Subject:
REFERENCE / Trivia
Subject:
General Reference
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
, Y
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.10x4.50x.48 in. .44 lbs.
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects


Reference » Etymology
Reference » Trivia
Reference » Words Phrases and Language
Reference » Words on Words

Black Sheep and Lame Ducks: The Origins of Even More Phrases We Use Every Day
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Product details 256 pages Perigee Books - English 9780399535123 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The author of "Red Herrings and White Elephants" takes an in-depth look at even more phrases we use every day, taking readers on a journey through the curious--and often bizarre--origins of hundreds of their favorite idioms and expressions.
"Synopsis" by ,
Have you heard the one about…

• Walt Disneys frozen body?

• Coca-Cola owning Santa Claus?

• Alligators living in New York City sewers?

We all love a good story. But where do the urban legends, conspiracy theories, and old wives tales we hear every day really originate? Albert Jack explores the best, strangest, and funniest of the tales so many of us take as gospel, and uncovers some eye-popping true stories that are even more far-fetched than their mythical counterparts. From Robin Hood to JFKs brain, from hamsters under carpets to mysterious travelers, youll never be short of a scary or bizarre anecdote again.

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