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March Hares and Monkeys' Uncles: Origins of the Words and Phrases We Use Every Day [Paperback]

Harry Oliver
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 Oct 2008
Whilst we might choose our words carefully, we rarely think about the origins behind the many phrases, place names and expressions we use everyday. Yet, behind these words lies a fascinating story, steeped in the weird and wonderful history and traditions of everyday life. From hundreds of commonplace and more quirky terms, to names of streets, cities and public houses, this fascinating and fun book answers the questions you've always had about the wonderful language we all use, yet seldom think about.So if it's all Greek to you and seems like hocus pocus, for Pete's sake don't be left on tenderhooks, have a gander at this idiosyncractic tome. Make no bones about it - it's the bee's knees! NOTE:The contents for this book and the book "Flying Pigs and Nosey Parkers: Origins of Words and Phrases We Use Every Day" are the same.

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March Hares and Monkeys' Uncles: Origins of the Words and Phrases We Use Every Day + Black Cats and April Fools + Red Herrings and White Elephants
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd (6 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844546705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844546701
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 18.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 377,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 28 Nov 2005
Format:Hardcover
This book is badly named. Its subtitle is 'Origins of the words and phrases we use every day' - not strictly true. I started reading this last night and most of the time it tells you what the phrases/words mean and not the origin of them. It is quite interesting though but would be very useful if it told you the whole story
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother 13 Mar 2006
By Kate W
Format:Hardcover
If you really are interested in the origin of phrases, you would do better to have a look at one of the many websites on this subject.
If you are unable to work out for yourself that the phrase "Mission Impossible" comes from the TV series of the same name, then this is the book for you.
Other phrases are not particularly well-researched and the author seems to have plumped for the obvious meanings rather than looked at the origins in any depth.
I have given the book one star for it's presentation - nice cover, but don't judge the book by it. (Can anyone tell me the origin of that phrase - it's so obvious I'm suprised it's not in Mr. Oliver's book).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misnomer. 28 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback
It didn't bode well that a book supposedly on the language by an English graduate should have a grammatical error on the first page of the introduction! (It's NUMBER of ideas, not AMOUNT!) I got increasingly irritated as I read on, with a large number of 'origins' being simplistic interpretations of understanding rather than actual historical research. Far too much supposition and assumption and stating of the flipping obvious!It's not even very entertaining as a lot of what 'origins' there are, are tried and tested and already very well known (eg Boycott). Woolly and irritating; if you are already interested in the language, you will find it frustrating and not at all 'what it says on the tin'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! 21 Nov 2008
Format:Hardcover
My first of a series of Harry Oliver books with great information on everyday expressions and brilliant illustrations. I recommended it to my whole office who swarmed to buy copies and have been great followers of every sequel since. I think it makes for a great gift for all those inquisitive minds out there but don't forget to buy a copy for yourself. You're going to love it too!
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