Category: Uncategorized

Two Shakes of a Lamb’s Tail

Yes, I’ve published a new book! Non-fiction this time. Here are the cover and the back page blurb:   This book explores the source and use of 355 common phrases and words in our wicked, wonderful, wacky English language.  While it’s raining cats and dogs, we’ll horse around with pie in the sky and, when we’re at the zoo, a…

green-eyed monster

green-eyed monster The “green-eyed monster” is jealousy or jealousy personified. It may have been Shakespeare who coined the phrase and used it in The Merchant of Venice, in 1596. The phrase could have arisen from the idea that when people are sick, their skin turns a yellow or greenish color. Also, unripe fruit (which will make you sick when you…

loophole

Loophole has several definitions: —an arrow slit in a castle wall, a narrow vertical window to shoot from —a technicality that allows escape from a contract or commitment —a method of escape, especially an ambiguity or exception in a rule —an ambiguity or inadequacy in a system, which can be used to circumvent it In the 1300s, an English castle…

better than a slap in the face with a cold fish

This phrase has a lot of variations, for example: “better than a slap in the belly with a cold fish,” “better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick,” and “better than a smack in the eye with a wet kipper.” There are many more. Phrases such as these are used to mean that although the situation is…

fly off the handle

To lose one’s temper suddenly and unexpectedly, or, if you want all the synonyms I could find: flip one’s lid, throw a fit, have a fit, hit the roof, combust, blow up, blow one’s stack, blow a fuse, go ballistic, lose self-control, become enraged. The phrase is American and first found in print in Thomas C. Haliburton’s The Attaché; or,…

wildcatter

A wildcatter is a prospector who sinks exploratory oil wells in areas not known to have oil fields. The term can also be applied to a risky investor. The word was coined in America and dates from the early oil industry in western Pennsylvania. Oil wells in unproven territory were called ‘wild-cat wells’ by 1871, and those who drilled them…

Correction on Free Ebooks

I posted the wrong URL for Smashwords’ catalogue of free or reduced-in-price books. Sorry about that. The correct URL is here.  You’ve still got until midnight Sunday to take advantage of discounted books!