Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: Hair of the Dog to Paint the Town Red: The Curious Origins of Everyday Sayings and Fun Phrases by Andrew Thompson

Title: Hair of the Dog to Paint the Town Red: The Curious Origins of Everyday Sayings and Fun Phrases
Author: Andrew Thompson
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Publish Date: March 14, 2017
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From "The English language is riddled with phrases that are complete nonsense. Ever met "a monkey's uncle," seen a "red-handed" thief, or "put a sock in it" when asked? You knows the real meaning of these common expressions, but do you know where, why, and how these idioms entered America's vernacular in the first place? Hair of the Dog to Paint the Town Red uncovers and explains the amazing and bizarre origins of 400 such phrases. Breezy and fun to read, this book of word trivia is far from being just an etymological dictionary. As if he were unraveling 400 little mysteries, the author reveals the backstory of each expression and tells how they've gained their new meanings. For example, you will enjoy following the exploits of the Marquis of Waterford. Was it the Mad Marquis' drunken excess and paint-brush wielding fun in the town of Melton Mowbray that inspired so many to "paint the town red" even today? This question and many others will be answered within."

My Two Cents:

"Hair of the Dog to Paint the Town Red" is a book for lovers of words and phrases. Perhaps it is also for POTUSes who think that they have made up a phrase like "priming the pump" only to be corrected and told that "priming the pump" has existed as an economics-related idiom for almost 90 years. "Priming the pump" is not included in this collection but after last week, it should not be missed after seeing story after story about that particular phrase's origins. 

Have you ever used a colloquial phrase and wondered where it came from? Why do we say things like "beating a dead horse" or "head over heels?" If these questions fly through your mind, this is the book for you.

Set up like a dictionary, this book has tons of phrases, how they are used, and where they came from. Each chapter focuses on a different origins. Let me tell you, there are soooo many funny phrases that come from the British Navy and sooo many more that started because of different sports. This book is for word nerds (and POTUSes that could stand to pick up a book every once in awhile). This book doesn't need to be read in all one sitting. I know that I personally would like to keep it as a reference book for when I have questions about where certain phrases come from. Overall, this is a very interesting book that taught me many new things about why we say the funny phrases we say.

1 comment:

  1. Nice the book about everyday sayings. We say these things daily not knowing the origins.


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