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This concise A–Z dictionary, now updated in a new edition, is a quick and easy reference to understanding the words and phrases that make New Zealand English unique. Language expert Max Cryer provides helpful definitions for the various entries, and also sheds light on their origins. Slang words feature heavily, while a key feature is the large number of Māori words that have become part of the language. Popular names of sports teams are included as well as an appendix of New Zealand acronyms
SPECIFICATIONS: 9781775594000 | Paperback | 210 x 135 mm / 8.25 x 5.25 inches | 248 Pages
The truth behind the expressions we use.
‘Cloud nine’, ‘at the drop of a hat’, ‘spitting image’, ‘mollycoddle’, ‘rigmarole’, ‘round robin’, ‘spill the beans’, ‘kick the bucket’, ‘balderdash’ and ‘touch wood’. There are so many curious words and phrases that we often use and yet haven’t you ever wondered why we say them, where they come from and what they mean?
Written by language expert Max Cryer, Curious Words and Phrases has all the answers behind some of the most interesting and perplexing words and expressions in the English language. Bulging with information, it’s a useful reference book and the ideal gift for anyone curious about the words and phrases we use.
SPECIFICATIONS: Paperback | 210 x 135 mm / 8.25 x 5.25 Inches | 432 Pages |
The stories behind the world’s favourite songs
Some of the world’s best-loved songs have had remarkable origins. In a book full of surprises and curiosities, Max Cryer reveals stories from all around the world, and from artists as diverse as Marlene Dietrich, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland and Elton John. This truly fascinating book makes enthralling reading.
SPECIFICATIONS: Hardback | 210 x 155 mm | Illustrations | 192 Pages |
The facts behind the things we have been told
In this revealing book, Max Cryer explores the truth or otherwise of facts and beliefs we may have always been told are true, but which on closer examination may not be. In a wide-ranging book encompassing social history, language, music, politics, food, sport, the natural world and much more, we discover the truth behind some of our most cherished beliefs.
Do St Bernard dogs really carry brandy?
Does Santa Claus come from the North Pole?
Did Winston Churchill coin the term ‘Iron Curtain’?
‘OK’ is an American expression, right?
Tulips come from Holland, don’t they?
Did Sarah Palin say ‘I can see Russia from my house?’
Did Alexander Graham Bell invent the telephone?
Lady Godiva rode naked through Coventry – didn’t she?
Max Cryer is a seasoned author who is incapable of writing a dull word. Always fresh and amusing, he will take you on a journey through your acquired knowledge, testing whether it is really up to scratch.
SPECIFICATIONS: Paperback | 210 x 135 mm | 216 Pages |
Believe it or not, this is probably the first book to attempt to identify the original sources of some of the English language’s most common expressions. We might think we know who first said famous for fifteen minutes, annus horribilis, the cold war and let them eat cake. It’s a no brainer, you might say, but Max Cryer has a surprise or two in store for you. I kid you not. In this very readable book, he explores the origins of hundreds of expressions we use and hear every day – and comes up with some surprising findings. Never economical with the truth, he might just have the last laugh.
We learn what they didn’t say…We are not amused; Elementary my dear Watson; Let them eat cake; First catch your hare. We learn that the Bible doesn’t mention Salome – or seven veils…. We learn about the origins of the infamous Mile High Club.
SPECIFICATIONS: Paperback | 210 x 135 mm / 8 ¼ x 5 ⅓ Inches | 320 Pages |
Some people casually say ‘touch wood’ when they speak of something they hope will happen. Others won’t allow peacock feathers into the house. And almost anyone who finds a four-leafed clover will treasure it and keep it. Why? Some superstitions are so ancient and have been practised for so long that they have come to be regarded as just harmless and widely observed ‘customs’, without people realising they are basically superstitions.
In a book full of surprises and revelations, Max Cryer explains the origins of many of the things we commonly say and observe and why we continue to include them in our lives: kissing under the mistletoe, the unlucky number thirteen, the significance of the bridal bouquet, saying ‘bless you’ after sneezing, the hanging of a horseshoe, ‘the Scottish play’, the danger in opals, the Leap Year proposal … so many aspects of our lives are coloured by superstition.
SPECIFICATIONS: Paperback | 203 x 127 mm / 8 x 5 Inches | Incidental B&W illustrations |