Whether you throw in the towel, go cold turkey or live high on the hog, American’s have added plenty of colorful expressions to the English language that aren’t widely used outside the US borders. Now learn the origins of these and 150 more of the most widely used figures of speech in this educational, thoroughly entertaining book that examines how the expressions came to be a part of our daily language along with their original meanings. It also sheds light on how common expressions continue to evolve, gaining in popularity until they become an established part of American English.
Ostler examines time-honored phrases from a wide variety of sources including the great outdoors, politics, animals, marksmanship and food. They reflect the strange, wild country that faced the largely clueless colonists as they struggled to cope with an entirely different way of life thus providing an interesting window on our past. A fascinating look at the emergence of American phraseology that will interest anyone who has ever wondered how “playing possum” or “waiting for the other shoe to drop” became such a part of the English language.