Following on from word origins guide Haggard Hawks & Paltry Poltroons comes Jedburgh Justice & Kentish Fire, a fascinating exploration of the origins of 500 English phrases and expressions. Using the same accessible and straightforward layout as Haggard Hawks, Jedburgh Justice is divided into fifty chapters each exploring the origins, meanings and histories of ten phrases that each share some quirk or quality in common – from ten phrases derived from sports (to take something at point blank was originally a term from archery) to ten phrases invented by Shakespeare (salad days Antony & Cleopatra), and from ten advertising slogans in popular use (the 1929 movie The Broadway Melody was the first to be advertised as all singing and all dancing) to the origins of ten unusual ways of saying ‘goodbye’ (to do a moonlight originally meant to abscond on a hotel bill).
Misquotations, nicknames, song lyrics and rhyming slang are all also explored here, with entries ranging from the curious origins of some of our most familiar expressions, like The Big Apple and the full Monty, to those of our most unusual, like crack the monica!, see the elephant, a Hertfordshire kindness, a pox-doctor’s clerk and bring haddock to the paddock. Here you’ll find out how to flash the dibs and dub at the knapping-jigger, what a Frenchman really means when he says let’s return to our sheep, how to walk Newgate fashion, how to break Priscian’s head, what a masterpiece of night work is, why you wouldn’t want to sit beside an admiral of the narrow seas, and why you’d be offended if someone said you must know Mrs Kelley.
Paul Anthony Jones was born in South Shields in 1983. Graduating with a Masters degree in English from the University of Newcastle in 2009, his first book The British Isles: A Trivia Gazetteer (2012) was inspired by a university study into the origins of English place names. This was quickly followed by two guides to English etymology, Haggard Hawks & Paltry Poltroons (2013) – named as one of best language titles of the year by The Guardian – and its sequel, Jedburgh Justice & Kentish Fire (2014). Paul also runs the popular tie-in Twitter account, @HaggardHawks, which ha...
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