In the tradition of Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Anguished English, Common Phrases is a fascinating guide to the origins of our language. Wonderful stories reveal the real meaning of Adam's apple, nick of time, stool pigeon, armed to the teeth, raining cats and dogs, at sixes and sevens, dog days of summer, and scores of others. With nearly 35,000 copies sold, this classic begins a new life with a fresh package and a new audience for entertaining reference books.
From the Back Cover Have you ever let the cat out of the bag? Or tried to bury the hatchet with an old enemy? How many times have you looked outside and it was raining cats and dogs? This is just a small sampling of the dozens of silly phrases we all use and hear regularly--but does anyone really know where these sayings came from or what they even mean? Common Phrases and Where They Come From, Second Edition, offers over two hundred of these quirky idioms and explores the intriguing origins and history behind each. Learn the derivation of some of your favorite phrases, including: Crocodile tears Apple of my eye Even Steven Mad moneyThree sheets to the wind Piping hot