Did you know that... Stealing someone's thunder is based on a real event; the original freelances were knights for hire ('free' + 'lance'); Nelson was the first to turn a blind eye (putting a telescope to his missing eye to ignore orders); Gordon Bennett was a real (very badly behaved) person; as was Jack the lad; pulling someone's leg was an 18th century robber's trick; and buttering up came from the Indian custom of throwing balls of ghee at statues of gods to ask for favours? This is just the tiniest taste of the many fascinating tales and histories behind our everyday words and phrases. In Interesting Stories about Curious Words, Susie Dent, Britain's cleverest lexicographer, linguistic expert and much-loved national treasure, explores all the very best red herrings, cock and bull stories, white elephants and nine-day wonders in the English language. There are enough stories to furnish a hundred conversations in a wonderful collection for everyone who loves words.
- Publisher: John Murray Press
- ISBN: 9781399811675
- Number of pages: 432
- Weight: 540g
- Dimensions: 222 x 140 x 38 mm