Did you know that an assassin is a hashish-eater and a yokel a country woodpecker? That Dr Mesmer mesmerized patients back to health or that Samuel Pepys enjoyed a good game of handicap? While we're at it, what have spondulics to do with spines or lawyers with avocados?
Here Albert Jack collects more than 500 of the strangest, funniest-sounding, and most delightful words in the English language, and traces them back to their often puzzling origins.
While brushing up on your gibberish or gobbledygook, discover why bastards should resent traveling salesmen, why sheets should remain on tenterhooks, and why you should never set down a tumbler before finishing your drink.
From blotto to bamboozle and from claptrap to quango, Albert Jack's addictive anecdotes bring the world's most colorful language to life and are guaranteed to surprise and entertain.
Albert Jack has become something of a publishing phenomenon, clocking up millions of sales with his series of best selling adventures tracing the fantastic stories behind everyday phrases (Red Herrings and White Elephants), pub history (The Old Dog and Duck), food history (What Caesar did for My Salad) invention (They Laughed at Galileo) and nursery rhymes (Pop Goes the Weasel).