Phraseology: Thousands of Bizarre Origins, Unexpected Connections, and Fascinating Facts about English's Best Expressions

Phraseology: Thousands of Bizarre Origins, Unexpected Connections, and Fascinating Facts about English's Best Expressions

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by Barbara Kipfer
     
 

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The Amazing Secrets of the Phrases We Use Everyday

Phraseology is the ultimate collection of everything you never knew about the wonderful phrases found in the English language. It contains information about phrase history and etymology; unusual, lost, or uncommon phrases; how phrases are formed; and more than 7,000 facts about common English

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Overview

The Amazing Secrets of the Phrases We Use Everyday

Phraseology is the ultimate collection of everything you never knew about the wonderful phrases found in the English language. It contains information about phrase history and etymology; unusual, lost, or uncommon phrases; how phrases are formed; and more than 7,000 facts about common English phrases.

Practical enough to be used as a reference book but so fun that every book lover will want to read it straight through, Phraseology contains such engrossing tidbits as:

  • ACROSS THE BOARD is an allusion to the board displaying the odds in a horse race
  • ARTESIAN WELL gets its name from Artois, where such wells were first made
  • BEST MAN originated in Scotland, where the groom kidnapped his bride with the aid of friends, including the toughest and bravest - the best man.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Kipfer (Instant Karma) collects trivia and fascinating facts about commonly used or currently obsolete English words and expressions. Organized alphabetically, the entries run in length between a single sentence to an entire paragraph and boast an accounting of 7000 facts. Occasionally, eccentric trivia takes precedence over concrete definitions. Although favoring casual readers seeking enlightened entertainment, the book is still practical for etymological researchers. A perfect complement to Anu Garg's The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words(Plume, 2007). Recommended for English and etymology collections.


—Savannah Schroll Guz

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402212871
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
247,065
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD is the author of many list and reference books. Barbara has an MPhil and PhD in Linguistics from University of Exeter, a PhD in Archaeology, an MA in Buddhist Studies from Greenwich University, and a BS in Physical Education from Valparaiso University. A lexicographer and part-time archaeologist, Barbara is the managing editor of Lexico LLC.

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Phraseology: Thousands of Bizarre Origins, Unexpected Connections, and Fascinating Facts about English's Best Expressions 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Twink More than 1 year ago
Oh, Phraseology is a trivia buff's dream. Or anyone who loves words and language. My son is of the first persuasion. He loves books like this and promptly snagged it.
Phraseology is one of those books you want to share. I had just as much fun listening to him quiz me on phrases as he did reading it. Some I knew, but some were complete surprises.

Here's a few to whet your appetite -

"To skin a cat" - comes from removing the tough skin from a catfish prior to cooking.

"Fit to be tied" - refers to being insane and bound, as in a straight jacket tied to the body.

This is a great book to leave on the coffee table - it can be picked up and read at whim.

I enjoyed the origin phrases, such as those listed above, the most. Some entries read more like dictionary entries that most people would already know, such as lie detector and celery seed. Some of the facts I found a bit uninspiring - "Asian elephants are smaller than African elephants". Based on the subtitle, I was looking for entries that were more 'bizarre', 'unexpected' and 'fascinating'. Still, this is a fun book to have around the house.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most phrases are easily found in any regular dictionary. The promised explanations of weird phrases are very few. The content as advertised on the covet could be handled in a few pages. I don't think this book offers a true value.
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