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Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pajamas

Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pajamas

Popular Expressions-What They Mean and How We Got Them

"Make no bones about it"--here's a "grand slam" for anyone seeking the meanings of catch phrases and quotes that enrich our everyday speech. It "rounds up the usual suspects"--hundreds of expressions that keep our language flourishing--and makes them easy to find in an A-to-Z format. If "all goes according to plan," you'll soon know:
  • The expressions "all that glitters is not gold" and "apple of the eye" have each been in use for more than 1,000 years.
  • "To bark up the wrong tree" comes from the sport of raccoon hunting.
  • "The big enchilada" was used to describe someone on the infamous Watergate tapes.
  • "Flavor of the month" was a generic advertising phrase of the mid-1940s used to describe new ice cream flavors.
  • "Baker's dozen" is 13, one more than the standard dozen, and goes back to medieval times, when Henry III called for the severe punishment of any bakers caught shortchanging customers. English bakers developed the habit of including an extra loaf of bread when asked for a dozen to ensure that they wouldn't be condemned.
  • "Drop of a hat" alludes to the frontier practice of dropping a hat as a signal for a boxing or wrestling match to begin, usually the only formality observed.
  • "Sleep tight" dates back to when beds were made of rope and straw. Before going to sleep at night, people would have to pull the ropes tight, as they would have loosened during the course of the previous night's sleep.

  • With this clever book on hand, you'll never have to "throw in the towel" during a battle of wits. Make this and all of the Blackboard Books(tm) a permanent fixture on your shelf, and you'll have instant access to a breadth of knowledge. Whether you need homework help or want to win that trivia game, this series is the trusted source for fun facts.
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    • Readers Digest | 
    • 176 pages | 
    • ISBN 9781606521717 | 
    • September 2010
    List Price $14.95
    This title is temporarily out of stock, please check back soon.

    More Books from this Author

    Here is an amusing collection of ingenious mnemonics devised to help us learn and understand hundreds of important facts that we used to know as children, but have since forgotten.Here is an amusing collection of ingenious mnemonics devised to help us learn and understand hundreds of important facts that we used to know as children, but have since forgotten. Featuring all the mnemonics you'll ever need to know, this fun little book will bring back all the simple, easy-to-remember rhymes from your...
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    About the Author

    Judy Parkinson

    Judy Parkinson is a graduate of Bristol University. She is a producer of documentaries, music videos, and commercials, and won a Clio award for a Greenpeace ad. Parkinson has published four books and has contributed to a show of life drawings at the Salon des Arts, Kensington. She lives in London.

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