Red Herrings & White Elephants

Red Herrings & White Elephants

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Published: 2016-04-20

Total Pages: 274

ISBN-13: 9781532861949

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

The biggest selling non-fiction book of the decade..... Mad hatter . . . pie in the sky . . . egg on your face. We use these phrases every day, yet how many of us know what they really mean or where they came from? From bringing home the bacon to leaving no stone unturned, the English language is peppered with hundreds of common idioms borrowed from ancient traditions and civilizations throughout the world. In Red Herrings and White Elephants, Albert Jack has uncovered the amazing and sometimes downright bizarre stories behind many of our most familiar and eccentric modes of expression: If you happen to be a bootlegger, your profession recalls the Wild West outlaws who sold illegal alcohol by concealing slender bottles of whiskey in their boots. If you're on cloud nine, you owe a nod to the American Weather Bureau's classification of clouds, the ninth topping out all others at a mountainous 40,000 feet. If you opt for the hair of the dog the morning after, you're following the advice of medieval English doctors, who recommended rubbing the hair of a dog into the wound left by the animal's bite. A delightful compendium of anecdotes on everything from minding your p's and q's to pulling out all the stops, Red Herrings and White Elephants is an essential handbook for language-lovers of all ages. Reviewed 'Albert Jack has all the answers' - Daily Express I never questioned the origin of While Elephants, Red Herrings, or any of the other many ideomatic phrases that we use everyday, but a friend of mine bought me this book and I was blown away! The author has done a stunning job of explaining the stories behind a myriad of phrases. The book is informative, funny, entertaining, and just incredibly well done. I have since bought it again to give as gifts. Great! ----- This is not the kind of book that you can just sit down and read. It is absolutely mandatory that you have someone nearby that you can tap on the shoulder and ask if they know what a red herring is or a white elephant. And then minutes later you will be bothering them with another gem that you just have to share. And then you interrupt them yet again with another one. Definitely a fun, interactive book.


Red Herrings And White Elephants

Red Herrings And White Elephants

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Metro Publishing

Published: 2007-04-10

Total Pages: 119

ISBN-13: 1782192743

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

Have you ever wondered what phrases such as 'square meal', 'load of old codswallop', 'egg on your face' or 'in the limelight' mean? Where do they come from? Have you ever taken a moment to wonder what we say actually means? The origins of hundreds of common phrases are explained in this irreverent journey through the most fascinating and richest regions of the English language. In a book that takes you all over the world, from nautical origins to food and drink terms, once you have learnt one phrase, you will be eager to learn them all! From the drop of a hat to the bitter end - you'll be surprised and intrigued and you'll never speak English in the same way again.


Pop Goes the Weasel

Pop Goes the Weasel

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Penguin

Published: 2009-09-29

Total Pages: 272

ISBN-13: 1101162961

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

From the international bestselling author of Red Herrings and White Elephants—a curious guide to the hidden histories of classic nursery rhymes. Who was Mary Quite Contrary, or Georgie Porgie? How could Hey Diddle Diddle offer an essential astronomy lesson? Do Jack and Jill actually represent the execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette? And if Ring Around the Rosie isn’t about the plague, then what is it really about? This book is a quirky, curious, and sometimes sordid look at the truth behind popular nursery rhymes that uncovers the strange tales that inspired them—from Viking raids to political insurrection to smuggling slaves to freedom. Read Albert Jack's posts on the Penguin Blog.


The Old Dog and Duck

The Old Dog and Duck

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Penguin UK

Published: 2009-09-03

Total Pages: 304

ISBN-13: 014192991X

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

This is a book for everyone who has ever wondered why pubs should be called The Cross Keys, The Dew Drop Inn or The Hope and Anchor. You'll be glad to know that there are very good - strange and memorable - reasons behind them all. After much research about (and in) pubs, Albert Jack brings together the stories behind pub names to reveal how they offer fascinating and subversive insights on our history, customs, attitudes and jokes in just the same way that nursery rhymes do. The Royal Oak, for instance, commemorates the tree that hid Charles II from Cromwell's forces after his defeat at Worcester; The Bag of Nails is a corruption of the Bacchanals, the crazed followers of Bacchus, the god of wine and drunkenness; The Cat and the Fiddle a mangling of Catherine La Fidele and a guarded gesture of support for Henry VIII's first, Catholic, wife Catherine of Aragon; plus many, many more. Here too are even more facts about everything from ghosts to drinking songs to the rules of cribbage and shove hapenny, showing that, ultimately, the story of pub history is really the story of our own popular history


Loch Ness Monsters and Raining Frogs

Loch Ness Monsters and Raining Frogs

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Random House Trade

Published: 2009

Total Pages: 0

ISBN-13: 9780812980059

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

A brief collection of humorous and informative examinations of history's most puzzling mysteries, including stories about the Burmuda Triangle, Paul McCartney, Bigfoot, and Marilyn Monroe.


Phantom Hitchhikers and Other Urban Legends

Phantom Hitchhikers and Other Urban Legends

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Penguin

Published: 2013-02-05

Total Pages: 163

ISBN-13: 1101619341

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

Have you heard the one about… • Walt Disney’s frozen body? • Coca-Cola owning Santa Claus? • Alligators living in New York City sewers? We all love a good story. But where do the urban legends, conspiracy theories, and old wives’ tales we hear every day really originate? Albert Jack explores the best, strangest, and funniest of the tales so many of us take as gospel, and uncovers some eye-popping true stories that are even more far-fetched than their mythical counterparts. From Robin Hood to JFK’s brain, from hamsters under carpets to mysterious travelers, you’ll never be short of a scary or bizarre anecdote again.


What Caesar Did for My Salad

What Caesar Did for My Salad

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Particular Books

Published: 2012

Total Pages: 0

ISBN-13: 9780141043449

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

This title is crammed full of fascinating insights, characters and incidents with enough stories to entertain a hundred dinner parties. The book includes how the Cornish pasty was invented to protect tin miners from arsenic poisoning.


It's a Wonderful Word

It's a Wonderful Word

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Random House

Published: 2011-11-03

Total Pages: 192

ISBN-13: 1446456099

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

Did you know that an assassin is a hashish-eater and a yokel a country woodpecker? That Dr Mesmer mesmerised patients back to health or that Samuel Pepys enjoyed a good game of handicap? While we're at it, what have spondulics to do with spines or lawyers with avocados? In It's a Wonderful Word, bestselling author Albert Jack collects over 500 of the strangest, funniest-sounding and most delightful words in the English language, and traces them back to their often puzzling origins. While brushing up on your gibberish or gobbledygook, discover why bastards should resent travelling salesmen, why sheets should remain on tenterhooks and why you should never set down a tumbler before finishing your drink. From blotto to bamboozle and from claptrap to quango, Albert Jack's addictive anecdotes bring the world's most colourful language to life and are guaranteed to surprise and entertain.


Shaggy Dogs and Black Sheep

Shaggy Dogs and Black Sheep

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Penguin UK

Published: 2009-11-10

Total Pages: 210

ISBN-13: 0141039566

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

The English language is crammed with colourful phrases and sayings that we use without thinking every day. It�s only when we�re asked who smart Alec or Holy Moly were, where feeling in the pink or once in a blue moon come from, or even what letting the cat out of the bag really means that we realize that there�s far more to English than we might have thought. Luckily enough, we now have Albert Jack. And rather than resting on his laurels after the enormous success of Red Herrings and White Elephants, he has continued his search around the world, exploring the origins of hundreds more phrases. The fascinating stories he has uncovered come from the rich traditions of the navy, army and law to confidence tricksters and highwaymen, from the practices of ancient civilizations to Music Hall and pubs. Determined to chase each shaggy dog story to the bitter end, his discoveries are even stranger and more memorable this time round. Shaggy Dogs and Black Sheep is a compulsively readable, highly enlightening look at the phrases we use all the time but rarely consider. From the skin of your teeth to the graveyard shift � you�ll never speak (or even think) English in the same way again.


Black Sheep and Lame Ducks

Black Sheep and Lame Ducks

Author: Albert Jack

Publisher: Penguin

Published: 2010-05-04

Total Pages: 202

ISBN-13: 1101187530

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

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.