Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pajamas

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Penguin, Oct 19, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 176 pages
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"Make no bones about it"--here's a "grand slam" for anyone seeking the meanings of catch phrases and quotes that enrich our everyday speech. It "rounds up the usual suspects"--hundreds of expressions that keep our language flourishing--and makes them easy to find in an A-to-Z format. If "all goes according to plan," you'll soon know:
The expressions "all that glitters is not gold" and "apple of the eye" have each been in use for more than 1,000 years. "To bark up the wrong tree" comes from the sport of raccoon hunting. "The big enchilada" was used to describe someone on the infamous Watergate tapes. "Flavor of the month" was a generic advertising phrase of the mid-1940s used to describe new ice cream flavors. "Baker's dozen" is 13, one more than the standard dozen, and goes back to medieval times, when Henry III called for the severe punishment of any bakers caught shortchanging customers. English bakers developed the habit of including an extra loaf of bread when asked for a dozen to ensure that they wouldn't be condemned. "Drop of a hat" alludes to the frontier practice of dropping a hat as a signal for a boxing or wrestling match to begin, usually the only formality observed. "Sleep tight" dates back to when beds were made of rope and straw. Before going to sleep at night, people would have to pull the ropes tight, as they would have loosened during the course of the previous night's sleep.
With this clever book on hand, you'll never have to "throw in the towel" during a battle of wits. Make this and all of the Blackboard Books(tm) a permanent fixture on your shelf, and you'll have instant access to a breadth of knowledge. Whether you need homework help or want to win that trivia game, this series is the trusted source for fun facts.



 

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Contents

ADD INSULT TO INJURY
ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTING
ALL TARRED WITH THE SAME BRUSH
ANOTHER NAIL IN THE COFFIN
ANTS IN ONES PANTS
THE APPLE OF ONES EYE
AROUND ONES EARS
BACK TO SQUARE ONE
MAKE NO BONES
NAUGHTY BUT NICE
NO HOLDS BARRED
NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE
AS OLD AS METHUSELAH
OUT FOR THE COUNT
PAINT THE TOWN RED
PASS THE BUCK

BALLPARK FIGURE
BASKET CASE
BEAT AROUND THE BUSH
BEWARE GREEKS BEARING GIFTS
THE BIG ENCHILADA
THE BIRDS AND THE BEES
TO THE BITTER END
BLOW HOT AND COLD
BONE UP ON
BREAK A LEG
BUSINESS AS USUAL
CALL OFF ALL BETS
CASE THE JOINT
CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE?
CATCH22
CLAM UP
CLEAN ROUND THE BEND
CLIMB ON THE BANDWAGON
CLUTCHING AT STRAWS
COCKANDBULL STORY
COME OUT OF THE CLOSET
COME UP TO SCRATCH
CROSS THE RUBICON
CUT THE MUSTARD
DEAR JOHN LETTER
DONT LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH
DRESSED TO THE NINES
DROP OF A HAT
EASY AS PIE
AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR
AN EYE FOR AN EYE
THE FACE THAT LAUNCHED A THOUSAND SHIPS
FIDDLE WHILE ROME BURNS
IN FINE FETTLE
THE FULL MONTY
GIVE SHORT SHRIFT
GO OFF HALFCOCKED
THE GREENEYED MONSTER
THE HAIR OF THE DOG
HERES MUD IN YOUR EYE
HUE AND CRY
ITS ALL GREEK TO ME
JUMP OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE
KEEP ONES POWDER DRY
KISS OF DEATH
THE LAND OF NOD
IN THE LIMELIGHT
LIVE LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
MAD AS A HATTER
MAKE A BEELINE FOR
PEANUT GALLERY
A PINCH OF SALT
PLEASED AS PUNCH
PRETTY PLEASE
PUT A SOCK IN IT
PUT ON THE BACK BURNER
READ THE RIOT ACT
REVENGE IS A DISH BEST SERVED COLD
ROME WASNT BUILT IN A DAY
ROUND UP THE USUAL SUSPECTS
THE ROYAL WE
RULE OF THUMB
SAIL CLOSE TO THE WIND
SEVE ONES BACON
SEE A MAN ABOUT A DOG
SELL SOMEONE DOWN THE RIVER
SEPARATE THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS
IN SEVENTH HEAVEN
SHOOT THE MOON
A SKELETON IN THE CLOSET
ON SKID ROW
SOUR GRAPES
SPEAK OF THE DEVIL
SPIN DOCTOR
STAND IN ANOTHER MANS SHOES
STIFF UPPER LIP
STRIKE WHILE THE IRONS HOT
THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES
TO AT
TALK TURKEY
THROW IN THE TOWEL
TURN THE TABLES
UNDER THE TABLE
WALK THE PLANK
WASH ONES HANDS OF SOMETHING
WHAT THE DICKENS?
WHITE ELEPHANT
WORTH ONES SALT
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW
ZIP IT
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About the author (2010)

Judy Parkinson is a graduate of Bristol University. She is a producer of documentaries, music videos, and commercials, and won a Clio award for a Greenpeace ad. Parkinson has published four books and has contributed to a show of life drawings at the Salon des Arts, Kensington. She lives in London.

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