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

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 somebody actually "let the cat out of the bag" at one time limit? Has a person truly "gone on a wild goose chase"? discover the solutions to those questions and plenty of extra during this huge, immense assortment, constituted of 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 commonplace Dictionary sequence, unearths the occasionally stunning, usually fun, and continually attention-grabbing roots of greater than 2,000 vernacular phrases and expressions. From "kangaroo courtroom" to "one-horse town", from "face the song" to "hocus-pocus," it is an interesting linguistic journey.

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

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Possibly the allusion was to the ancient way that unwelcome guests were sometimes warded off-by heav­ ing a kettleful of boiling water, when available, upon troublesome intruders. But, oddly enough, more than two centuries after the figurative use was a matter of record, James Harris, before starting on the great diplomatic career that eventually caused him to be created Earl of Malmesbury, supposed that "in hot water" was a modern phrase of his period, and called it such, in 1765, in one of his letters.

Marital customs of Roman days were not unlike the present, so it is not unlikely that the matrons did thus defend themselves, but evidence is lacking that our meta­ phor had such an origin. to keep the pot boiling Even among the ancients the container often signified the thing contained; the Romans used oUa, pot, many times instead of the meat within the pot, and so did our own forbears. material for a stew, provide a livelihood. This was the only figurative meaning from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century; it gave rise to such allied sayings as "to go to pot" (to cut up and prepare for the pot; hence, in present usage, to become disintegrated), "potboiling," (doing something, usually something of no great merit, that will provide for one's immediate needs).

Is it not hot enough? " cried the satyr. " to know the ropes To be familiar with all the details. There have been differences of opinion about the origin of this saying, for it so happens that the earliest records make it appear that the phrase was first used by the gentry of the racetracks, and, be­ cause of that, some hold that by "ropes" the allusion is to the reins of a horse's harness; that one "knows the ropes" who best knows the handling of the reins. But, as with many other phrases, this one, I think, undoubtedly originated among sailors.

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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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