BALLYHOO BUCKAROO & SPUDS
The real story of a word or phrase’s origin and evolution is often much stranger—and much more humorous—than the commonly accepted one; the many entries will certainly leave you “happy as a clam.” Happy as a clam? Really, what’s so happy about being a clam? The saying makes much more sense when it’s paired with its missing second half: “at high water.” Now a clam at high water is a safe clam, and thus a happy clam. From the bawdy to the sublime, Quinion’s explanations and delightful asides truly prove that the “proof is in the pudding.”
Results 1-3 of 51
The original vehicles used by the Flying Squad all had the registration letters BYL
, so the squad became known as the Bill. The Oxford English Dictionary is fairly
sure the origin lies in the cartoon character Old Bill. He was created during the ...
It became an instant hit. His creation was one of those fortunate ones that arrive
on the world's stage at a critical moment, in this case just before the outbreak of
the Civil War. Although also popular in the North, it was taken up as a marching ...
The abbreviation became widely used during the campaign and survived Van
Buren's losing the election. Its origins quickly became lost, however, as anything
linked to yesterday's news usually does. Many earnest investigators have since ...
What people are saying - Write a review
Ballyhoo, Buckaroo, and Spuds: Ingenious Tales of Words and Their OriginsUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Folk etymology, namely, stories describing word origins, takes the stage as Quinion narrates and evaluates competing explanations of a word's or phrase's evolution. A contributor to the venerable OED ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
Ballyhoo, Buckaroo, and Spuds: Ingenious Tales of Words and Their Origins
Limited preview - 2006