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Black Sheep and Lame Ducks: The Origins of Even More Phrases We Use Every Dayby Albert Jack
Synopses & Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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