Black Sheep and Lame Ducks: The Origins of Even More Phrases We Use Every Day
The fun and fascinating follow-up to the international bestseller Red Herrings and White Elephants
Why do people put their "skeletons in a closet," "have a hunch," "get the cold shoulder," "get dressed up to the nines," or "call a spade a spade?" These phrases are used every day, yet most people have little or no idea where most of them come from. In Black Sheep and Lame Ducks, Albert Jack takes readers on a journey through the curious- and often bizarre-origins of hundreds of their favorite idioms and expressions.
For example, "wearing your heart on your sleeve" comes from the Middle Ages, when a lady would "give her heart" in the form of a handkerchief pinned to the sleeve of a knight who was about to go into battle. And calling someone the "black sheep in the family" refers to a thousands- year-old belief that a black lamb in a flock was unpopular because its fleece was undyeable and therefore less valuable.
With Black Sheep and Lame Ducks, any language-lover can feel like a "Smart Aleck"-and also know exactly who that was.
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: Black Sheep and Lame Ducks: The Origins of Even More Phrases We Use Every DayUser Review - Randall Christopher - Goodreads
This was a pretty interesting read. Many of the "every day phrases" it includes I had never heard of before, but I think it may be due to them being mainly sayings from England. I did find most of the ... Read full review
Review: Black Sheep and Lame Ducks: The Origins of Even More Phrases We Use Every DayUser Review - Stacey Costas - Goodreads
I was disappointed because this volume wasn't written nearly as well as the others in the series. That being said, there were some interesting entries. Read full review