Cooties, doozies, and heebie-jeebies, finks and funks, namby-pamby and gobbledygook, mugwumps and muumuus, red herrings and white elephants, deep six and cloud nine—our language is filled with familiar words that, when one thinks about them, are downright peculiar. And if we look to English to make sense, why is it that we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
There's only one man to solve these and other riddles of our spoken tongue: David Feldman, who in his bestselling books Imponderables
and Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise?
established himself as the unchallenged expert on answering the unanswerable. Word Imponderables have always been favorites with Feldman's legions of fans, and in this volume he gets to the source of all the mysteries surrounding our curious vocabulary.
Why do we mind our Ps and Qs and now our Vs and Ws? Is a caddy really a little cad? Which Toms lent their names to Peeping, Collins, and a gun? How does a weasel go "pop"—and why, for that matter? Who are the Joneses we're supposed to be worrying about keeping up with? Why do some people get your goat instead of your mynah bird? Has anyone ever been given long shrift?And why is that pole that you won't ever touch something with always ten feet long?Who Put the Butter in Butterfly?
is a reference book you can't afford to be without—if only to amaze your friends with the knowledge that the person ultimately responsible for "23 skiddoo" is Charles Dickens. So don't beat around the bush, and don't wait until the eleventh hour or until the jig is up: Here is compuslive reading for anyone incurably curious about the idiosyncrasies of the language.
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