Download e-book for iPad: 2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions from by Charles Earle Funk, Tom Funk

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 cut-off date? 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, produced 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 average Dictionary sequence, finds the occasionally marvelous, frequently a laugh, and consistently interesting roots of greater than 2,000 vernacular phrases and expressions. From "kangaroo courtroom" to "one-horse town", from "face the track" to "hocus-pocus," it truly is an interesting linguistic trip.

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

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A fidus Achates A faithful Achates; a steadfast friend. The saying comes from Virgil's Aeneid where Achates is described as the friend who accom­ panied Aeneas on all his wanderings. Jim Crow You can read about Thomas D. Rice in the encyclopedia. He was a comedian of a hundred years ago, turning to Negro minstrelsy almost at the outset of his theatrical career and rapidly attaining especial eminence in this field. He introduced a number of popular songs of that period-one especially, about 1 835, with the title "Jim Crow," that became extremely popular.

To most persons not of the Roman Catholic or Episcopalian faiths the designation of this day is incomprehensible, for the term "maundy" now appears in no other connection. It originated from the thirteenth chapter of John, in which the Last Supper and the ceremony and doctrine of humility are described. " The Latin for "a new command­ ment" is mandatum novum, and these are the words that begin the first antiphon sung after the commemorative observance of the Lord's Supper and the ceremony, in England, of the washing of the feet of a number of poor persons by some member of the royal family or other important person.

An Achilles' heel A vulnerable spot. In the Iliad, Homer's marvelous legend, Achilles, the hero of the story, was the son of a king, Peleus, and of the sea-goddess, Thetis, and a great-grandson of no less than Zeus himself. The account that Homer gives of the boyhood of so re­ markable a being is reasonably prosaic; that is, he was at least brought up on land, even though his tutors did include a centaur. But later writers than Homer felt compelled to provide greater details. Thus, according to one account, the real reason why Achilles was fearless in battle was because he knew that everyone was power­ less to hurt him.

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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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