Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pyjamas and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
£2.27
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pyjamas: Popular Expressions - What They Mean and Where We Got Them Hardcover – 10 Sep 2009

34 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£0.80 £0.01



Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara; 1 edition (10 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843173654
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843173656
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.3 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Judy Parkinson is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller 'I before E (Except after C)', which has been featured everywhere from the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme to questions asked on University Challenge. She is also the author of 'Remember, Remember the Fifth of November: The History of Britain in Bite-sized Chunks' and 'Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pyjamas: Popular Expressions - What They Mean and Where We Got Them'. Judy has appeared on national radio and across the media talking about her books.

Judy has worked as a journalist, and has interviewed many public figures about their school days for the Times Educational Supplement and the Daily Telegraph. She lives in London and also works as a television producer making educational documentaries for Teachers TV. She has produced numerous music videos and television commercials.

Product Description

Review

If you'd like to know the origins of some of our most baffling phrases, take a look at this (Daily Express)

Provides a wealth of fascinating facts about the meaning and origin of phrases we use every day... With every page guaranteed to entertain and inform, this is really is the bee's knees when it comes to the perfect gift! (Lancashire Evening Post)

Reveals the origins and meanings of some of the most popular and obscure sayings we use today (Daily Mirror) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Spilling the Beans on the Cats' Pyjamas is the new book by the top ten best-selling author of I Before E (Except After C)

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Helen S VINE VOICE on 23 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
My sister gave me this pretty little book for Christmas, which was great because it's not the type of book I would usually think about buying for myself. The title might leave you wondering exactly what this book is about, but the subtitle helps to explain: Popular Expressions - What They Mean and Where We Got Them.

The book looks at some of the well-known phrases and proverbs which appear in the English language and explains what they mean and how they originated. Do you know what 'to shoot the moon' means, for example, or why we give someone 'the third degree'? Why do we 'steal someone else's thunder' and why do we 'go to the Land of Nod' when we fall asleep?

The phrases appear in alphabetical order. I was a bit disappointed by some of the entries which are little more than a straight definition of the phrase or proverb, but the majority were interesting and I learned a lot of fascinating little facts. Some of them such as 'ballpark figure' and 'take a rain check' have American origins. Others stem from Ancient Greece or Rome. There are others that come from the Bible, some that are derived from Aesop's fables and some that were made famous by Shakespeare. A few of the phrases have no definite origins and in these cases the author tells us that the definitions she's providing are merely speculation.

This is not really a book you would read from cover to cover in one sitting; it's perfect for dipping in and out, reading a few entries at a time. It's strangely addictive though as the entries are temptingly short (usually no more than two or three paragraphs). I'd recommend it to anyone with a love for the English language. It's a perfect book to buy as a gift too, as it even has a special page at the front where you can write your 'to' and 'from'!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Blue Burmese on 4 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have been looking for a book like this for years.
Everytime I have heard an expression I have wondered why and where it came from. Now I know and I keep this book at my fingertips now so if anyone asks me where it came from I can refer to the book. For example I always wondered what "swinging the lead" was and what did it mean and where did it come from.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
On the inside cover is printed `A gift for ... from...', suggesting that this attractively produced book, humorously illustrated by Louise Morgan, is intended to be a stocking-filler, so perhaps we shouldn't be too critical of it. The subtitle is `Popular Expressions - What They Mean and Where We Got Them'. `What They Mean' is almost always pretty obvious - otherwise they would hardly be popular. A fairly high proportion of the explanations of `Where We Got Them' will surely not be needed for someone who has a reasonable acquaintance with the Bible (to cast pearls before swine), Aesop's fables (sour grapes), Greek legends (the sword of Damocles), sailing (walking the plank). However, there are certainly some entries (cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey) whose intriguing origin few people would know. As this is the third edition of a book whose earlier ones were under different titles, it has obviously been a good seller. And it is a good deal handier and more up-to-date than Brewer's massive `Dictionary of Phrase and Fable'.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
A book that sets out to explain the origin of sayings. What they mean and why we say them.

For example, something being 'under the counter' stems from the second world war when tradesmen would keep extra supples of goods that were not on the ration, that they could sell to customers for inflated prices.

And that's just one of the many sayings that this book looks and gives explanations for.

It runs for one hundred and ninety two pages, which includes a forward from the writer.

Not all of the sayings have definitive explanations for their origins. Some the writer can only speculate about. But all are given details as to what they actually mean.

Some of them come with box outs containing extra bits of information. And there are simple but effective illustrations to go with a handful of others.

Not a book to read in one go otherwise it would get very repetitive quickly. As a book to be dipped into and out of occasionally, it's a fine and fascinating read and a handy reference work also.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Kennedy on 15 April 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have to agree with an earlier reviewer's description to it being a bit of a mixed bag. Interesting in parts and some of the conclusions I still have some doubts about. Not a bad book by any description or measure. I suppose you get exactly what it says and in that its a little bit of a let down as there is no hidden surprise.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jojo gran on 3 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
interesting, unusual facts, extra bit of knowledge, good for pub quizzes and crosswords, Would recommend to anyone who is interested in facts and figures
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Korowajczyk on 23 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant and funny, explaining the meaning and provenance of some expressions of everyday use in a simple, affordable way. Very enjoyable
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By conoraf on 2 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
an insight into common expressions explained very well.A must for all lovers of english or for english teachers working broad
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Look for similar items by category


Feedback