Posted 20 hours ago

Red Herrings and White Elephants: Albert Jack

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From bringing home the bacon to leaving no stone unturned, the English language is peppered with hundreds of common idioms borrowed from ancient traditions and civilizations throughout the world.

Red herrings and white elephants : Jack, Albert : Free Red herrings and white elephants : Jack, Albert : Free

If you have even a slight interest in the history of language and phrases this book is a must read. And then minutes later you will be bothering them with another gem that you just have to share. And then you interrupt them yet again with another one. Definitely a fun, interactive book.

For me this doesn't really explain it satisfactorily. What about the info about the root of the Latin proverb? (although according to my sources the phrase comes from a collection of medieval French poems "Li Proverbe au Vilain" which was published around 1190) - & the little quip at the end... not my sense of humour. If you happen to be a bootlegger, your profession recalls the Wild West outlaws who sold illegal alcohol by concealing slender bottles of whiskey in their boots. If you're on cloud nine, you owe a nod to the American Weather Bureau's classification of clouds, the ninth topping out all others at a mountainous 40, 000 feet. If you opt for the hair of the dog the morning after, you're following the advice of medieval English doctors, who recommended rubbing the hair of a dog into the wound left by the animal's bite.

Red Herrings and White Elephants - Google Books Red Herrings and White Elephants - Google Books

The OED doesn’t mention whether albino elephants are considered sacred in Burma, but does have the story about the King of Siam giving troublesome or obnoxious courtiers the ‘gift’ of a white elephant which would ruin the recipient due the costs of maintenance.

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