Why do we describe something as "A-1", "a lame duck", or "straight from the horse's mouth"? Why is someone's behaviour said to be "beyond the pale"? What is the original meaning of the word "treacle"? This book explores the intriguing origins and development of about 800 words and expressions in English.
The story of the development of English provides an endless source of fascination not only for native speakers but also for students of English as a foreign or second language. I hope therefore that something of the rich heritage of the language will be discovered and enjoyed in these pages.