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Summary

You wouldn’t be ‘barking mad’ if, when asked the definition of certain phrases, ‘the cat got your tongue’ and you ‘clammed up’. Let’s not ‘beat around the bush’; the English language is littered with linguistic quirks that, on closer examination, seem utterly fantastical. In Spilling the Beans on the Cat’s Pyjamas, Judy Parkinson explores the many colourful – but rather incomprehensible – phrases that enhance our language, describing their origins and defining their true meanings.

©2000 Michael O'Mara Books Ltd (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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been living in a cave?

great if you don't already know where phrases like "out for the count" or an "eye for an eye" come from...but you probably do because you're not an idiot.

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  • Neil Chisholm
  • 26-06-13

A spoken A-Z listing

I expected a listing of common and popular expressions and their sources and meanings being explained and expanded. I hoped that some form of connection would be made and that each one would lead into a story and the explanation of another expression. Unfortunately it was read in strictly alphabetical order with no connecting passages. It ended up being a very flat listen although I did actually learn some interesting things even if it still was effectively just a list.

Not really recommended - it could have been done so much better.

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  • yael
  • 01-02-12

Great source!

a fun and easy source to get thinking on why we say the things we say..