Download PDF by Charles Earle Funk, Tom Funk: 2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions from

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 an individual actually "let the cat out of the bag" at one time limit? Has an individual really "gone on a wild goose chase"? discover the solutions to those questions and lots 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 commonplace Dictionary sequence, finds the occasionally miraculous, frequently a laugh, and regularly 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 wonderful linguistic journey.

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

Example text

Thus, "ambsace" very naturally came to mean an extremely small point; less of a point than would be repre- 57 sented by the pip of a single ace. And, in the same figurative manner, "within ambsace of" measured a degree of closeness that was no more than half a pip or jot. This latter wording appears to have been the original form of the expression; but, through careless use or faulty hearing, this became corrupted into the only form heard today, "within an ace of," though both wordings were in use in the seventeenth century.

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. But in the morning when he went to the river, possibly intending to deny his losses, he found that the barge loaded with corn had sunk during the night and, of course, was now worthless.

This was done by saying "amen," perhaps quietly or perhaps with great enthusiasm and unction when aroused by the dramatic fervor of some portion of the sermon. The original experiment was undoubtedly a success because the practice spread to other churches. " Many years later, toward the end of the nineteenth century, the newspapers of New York City began to call a room of the Fifth Avenue Hotel, reserved especially for the group of politicians cur­ rently in power, the "amen corner," possibly because the last word in regard to city politics was said there.

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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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