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Shaggy Dogs and Black Sheep: The Origins of Even More Phrases We Use Every Day Mass Market Paperback – 28 Aug 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Shaggy Dogs and Black Sheep: The Origins of Even More Phrases We Use Every Day
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  • Red Herrings and White Elephants
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  • Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meanings of Nursery Rhymes
Total price: £26.45
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (28 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141039566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141039565
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 220,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Inside Flap

Where is the last chance saloon?
Who was Gordon Bennett?
Why isn't red tape black?
Why do we have a hunch, get the cold shoulder or laugh like a drain?
Why do we say skinflint, dressed up to the nines and out of the blue - and, of course, shaggy dog stories and black sheep?

We use these phrases every day and yet have little or no idea where many of them come from. Here, Albert Jack, author of the bestselling Red Herrings and White Elephants, takes us on another rollercoaster ride through the fascinating origins of hundreds of our favourite expressions (and comes up trumps). --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Alber Jack has become something of a publishing phenomenon, clocking up hundreds of thousands of sales with his series of bestselling adventures tracing the fantastic stories behind everyday phrases (Red Herrings and White Elephants), the world's great mysteries (Loch Ness Monsters and Raining Frogs) and nursery rhymes (Pop Goes the Weasel). When not engaged in research, Albert Jack lives somewhere between Guildford and Cape Town, where he divides his time between fast living and slow horses, neat vodka and untidy pubs.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Entertaining read, but also a very valuable source for common English phrases that can be used as passwords!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Not as good as the other book Red Herrings and White Elephants
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Format: Hardcover
RED HERRINGS was my favourite book of last year and now (just as my friends were breathing a sigh of relief that I had stopped dragging every conversation round to the weird and wonderful origins of the words we use every day) here comes the sequel and it's even better. Did you know, for instance, that 'buttering someone up' comes from the ancient Hindu custom of throwing globs of clarified butter at the statues of gods; that 'nailing your colours to the mast' came from captains, thinking that they were unlikely to win a sea battle, nailing their flag to the mast so their more cowardly crew couldn't winch it down and surrender; that saying something has 'got legs' comes from wine tasting -- and there's hundreds more stories where those came from... I can't imagine anyone not loving this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this for my dad for xmas but had a read myself of a few pages, really intresting facts of where saying come from. I was not disappointed as Amazon put a great "look inside" profile so I knew what I was getting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All the most known phases, Red Herrings & White Elephants is the one to choose. However if you want more, then this book contains more but they are more obscure (less well known). Good though.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent read for anyone who is interested in the origin of everyday phrases that adorn the English language. A fun read and very enjoyable.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Got this little book on recommendation of sister.It has such a lot of funny things in it.Where expressions come from,funny little sayings,etc.Surprising where all these everyday sayings come from.Read it,its fun reading
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Not to sound like an idiot but this review really writes itself. If you have an interest in where British phrases come from then this book ticks all the boxes, its full of commonly used phrases and a few less common one too, well written and easy to pick up. If you want a crime thriller, atlas, cookery book on preparation of Highland scones or Top Gears annual then I wouldn't suggest this book however.
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