Allen's Dictionary of English Phrases
Penguin Books, Jan 1, 2006 - English language - 805 pages
"From cloud nine to seventh heaven, from head over heels to rule of thumb, the English language abounds in strange and colourful expressions. But where do these phrases come from, and how did they get their modern meaning?" "Lexicographer Robert Allen has undertakes a massive survey of this fascinating area, investigating and dating over 6,000 phrases, and providing citations from literature, journalism, published letters, diaries and speeches. So, for example, you'll discover that salad days comes from Antony and Cleopatra, that flavour of the month originates in American ice-cream marketing and that we've been calling a spade a spade since the sixteenth century."--BOOK JACKET.
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