The Real McCoy

The Real McCoy : The True Stories Behind Our Everyday Phrases

2.66 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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English is incredibly rich in colourful phrases and expressions. But, why do we say 'mad as a hatter', 'know your onions', and 'put on the Ritz'? This entertaining book elucidates the question of why we say the things we say. Indeed, many of the expressions we use in daily conversation have interesting and unexpected origins. Well into the 19th century 'hatters' - people employed making hats - were literally sent mad by the mercury used in the production process, hence the Mad Hatter in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", and hence the phrase we still use today. From 'black sheep' to 'chancing your arm', "The Real McCoy" gives the fascinating stories behind hundreds of the most interesting idioms in English. Each phrase has been thoroughly researched to uncover its origins and the way it has been used in the past. The book is written in a friendly and approachable style, and includes additional information in ten double-page panels focusing on idioms linked by a common theme, such as phrases coined by Shakespeare, nautical phrases, or phrases with a Biblical origin. The book contains specially commissioned cartoons to illustrate the idioms, and, coupled with the fresh, contemporary design, they make this book a delight to browse. "The Real McCoy" is the perfect gift for everyone interested in the quirky side of the English more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 132.1 x 198.1 x 25.4mm | 113.4g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • numerous black and white illustrations
  • 0192806114
  • 9780192806116
  • 1,445,319

Review quote

"Addictive reading for verbivores and fine browsing material for everyone else."--Booklistshow more

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6 ratings
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3 67% (4)
2 33% (2)
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