Month: October 2017

full of beans

To be peppy, energetic or frisky; to be in high spirits, rarin’ to go, feeling your oats, enthusiastic.  This phrase has been around for about a hundred and fifty years, and it seems generally understood that it arose in horse racing. Horse beans have been raised for fodder at least since Roman days, and they provided the animal with more…

going to hell in a handbasket

A situation getting rapidly out of hand and going downhill fast. Other versions would be ‘going to the dogs’ or ‘on a slippery slope.’ The first reference to ‘going to hell in a handbasket’ in print occurs in a 1714 entry in Samuel Sewall’s Diary, an American publication. Another is found in the House Documents of the US Congress, in…

balls to the wall

Going all out, with maximum effort, similar to the automotive ‘pedal to the metal.’  The phrase is first found in military aviation. In many planes, a control stick may be topped with a ball-shaped grip.  A throttle on an early aircraft had such a ball on the end of it.  In order to go full throttle, the pilot had to…

Book cover

Here’s the cover for The Case of the Capycat Killer. Looks good for the book being available late next week.

monkeyshines

A trick or prank like a monkey’s; mischief; buffoonery; tomfoolery; shenanigans.  ‘Monkeyshines’ is an American coinage dating back to the early 19th century. It’s one of several phrases that compare human and simian playful behavior.  We also use ‘monkey business,’ ‘monkey around,’ ‘more fun than a barrel of monkeys,’ ‘monkey see, monkey do,’ and so on. These phrases make being…

The Case of the Copycat Killer

I have a new book coming out in about ten days time. The Case of the Copycat Killer is book #5 in The Charger Chronicles series. For a book that’s half the size of a regular novel, it’s got a lot happening. It’s science fiction, mystery, and humor. Sorry, no cowboys or vampires. Here’s the back page blurb: The first…

keep one’s nose to the grindstone

To work, study, or practice hard and steadily. To persist in an unpleasant task; to labor continuously, especially at hard, monotonous work.  There are two types of grindstones. One is used to grind grain and is called a millstone. The other is used for shaping, smoothing, and sharpening metal, including dull knife blades and axes, and is called a grindstone. …