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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 Godzone Dictionary is a concise A-Z of the words and phrases that make our New Zealand language and speech patterns so distinctive and individual, from Aotearoa and Avondale spiders to Zambuck and Zespri. Slang words and expressions feature heavily, while one of the unique features of this book is the large number of Maori words that have become a part of our common language in recent years. The listing also includes the popular names of our sports teams (so often confused!) and an appendix of common New Zealand acronyms.
SPECIFICATIONS: Paperback | 210 x 135 mm / 8 ⅓ x 5 ⅓ Inches | 192 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 |