By Charles Earle Funk, Tom Funk
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 really "gone on a wild goose chase"? discover the solutions to those questions and plenty of extra during this huge, immense assortment, created 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 ordinary Dictionary sequence, finds the occasionally stunning, usually a laugh, and continuously 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 unique linguistic trip.
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Why do humans "take forty winks" and never 50. .. or 60, or 70? Did an individual actually "let the cat out of the bag" at one time limit? Has someone truly "gone on a wild goose chase"? discover the solutions to those questions and lots of extra during this huge, immense assortment, constructed from 4 bestselling titles: A Hog on Ice, Thereby Hangs a story, Heavens to Betsy!
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Additional info for 2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions from White Elephants to a Song & Dance
Suc cessively through the centuries, and depending somewhat upon the costume of the period, the heart has metaphorically sunk to one's heel, to one's hose, to one's boots. to play $econd fiddle (or violin) In order to produce the harmony desired by the composer of an orchestral piece, someone must be willing to play the violin of lower tone, or second violin, while another plays the first violin and the leading part. Hence, metaphorically, we speak of anyone who occupies a subordinate position, especially of a person who steps from a leading position into the lesser status, as one who plays sec ond fiddle.
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). (or on) first blush Anciently, a blush was a glimpse, a momentary view. " This sense dropped out of use during the sixteenth century, however, except in the present phrase.
Stewart then pointed out that he did not mean literal haystacks and cornfields, but the horses, mules, and hogs for which the hay and corn were raised. Wickliffe then rose to his feet, it is said, and drawled, "Mr. " The other account carries no date, but takes us to New Orleans where an upriver countryman is alleged to have fallen among card sharps. Before the evening was over the farmer had lost not only his purse, but the two barges of produce, one of corn and one of potatoes, which he had brought to market.