Red Herrings and White Elephants
Bold as brass, cold feet, cock and bull, off the cuff, red herrings and whitelephants. We use these phrases every day and yet have only the vaguest ideaf where many of them come from. The origins of hundreds of common phrasesre explained in this irreverent journey through the most fascinating andichest regions of the English language. Once you've read one, you'll beiving back in to look up all the others. Red Herrings is full of amazingefinitions that take us all over the world, including military traditionsnd famous people who lent their names to describe familiar situations. Fromhe drop of a hat to the bitter end - you'll never speak English in the sameay again.
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19th century American ancient animal Army bare-knuckle boxing battle beat became known began behaviour Black Book brass Britain Broadwick Street Bruce Foxton called Charles Dickens cockney rhyming slang coins common Coventry customers describe drink drunk Dutch early England English language expression favour fire gauntlet Ginger you're barmy given gone Greek hook horse Horse Latitudes hunting idea idiom implies included the line keep King knuckle labour later legend living London look Lord lourche McCoy means meant medieval Middle Ages Murphy's Law nautical Old Norse outcome person phrase dates back phrase passed play player popular practice prisons punishment race Radio Normandie recorded reference regarded Roman rope sailors sails saying shaggy dog story ships side soldiers someone sport story suggest task temse term thought traced travelling usually Victorian whip widely wind wooden word wrong wrote