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Curious English Words and Phrases (2nd edition)

USD $16.99 USD $13.59 Tax Included

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 |

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Preposterous Proverbs

USD $6.39USD $18.39 Tax Included

Why fine words butter no parsnips

From our earliest years we have heard proverbs, and many of them are repeated without much thought. In ‘Preposterous Proverbs’, Max Cryer looks at a vast array of proverbs from around the world. Proverbs on birth, food, women and love rub shoulders with others on money, animals, sin and death. He has chosen some of the most interesting and perplexing, and with his characteristic wry wit he analyses their meaning and truth. A great book to dip into.

SPECIFICATIONS: Paperback | 198 x 126 mm | 272 Pages |

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Is It True?

USD $7.59USD $11.19 Tax Included

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.

For example:

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 |

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Every Dog Has Its Day

USD $5.99 USD $4.79 Tax Included

Max Cryer’s new book is a splendid collection of historical facts and eccentricities of language that will delight all dog-lovers and anyone with a morsel of interest in the world around them. Every Dog Has Its Day pays homage to man’s best friend, telling the stories of famous dogs in history, tracing the origins of some of our favourite breeds, showing how dogs have become a significant part of our language, and describing the amazing range of activities in which dogs are involved. Written with Max Cryer’s characteristic light touch and sense of humour, every page contains unexpected facts and fascinating stories: this book truly is a delight from beginning to end.

SPECIFICATIONS: Hardback | 198 mm x 126mm / 7¾ x 5 inches | 200 Pages |

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Curious English Words and Phrases

USD $7.99USD $19.99 Tax Included

The truth behind the expressions we use

Have you ever wondered where terms like ‘end of your tether’, ‘gets my goat’ or ‘letting ones hair down’ come from? Or why we call some people ‘geezers’, ‘sugar daddies’ or ‘lounge lizards’? Or where the words ‘eavesdropping’, ‘nickname’ and ‘D-Day’ come from?

They are just a few of the many words and phrases that language expert Max Cryer examines in this fact-filled and fun new book.

Max explains where these curious expressions come from, what they mean and how they are used.

Along the way he tells a host of colourful anecdotes and dispels quite a few myths – Did Churchill originate the phrase ‘black dog’? And if ‘ivory tower’ can be found in the Bible, why has its meaning changed so drastically?

Curious English Words and Phrases is a treasure trove for lovers of language. Informative, amusing and value for money, this book is ‘the real McCoy’. From ‘couch potato’ to ‘Bob’s your uncle’, you’ll find the explanation here!

SPECIFICATIONS: Paperback | 210 x 135 mm | 388 pages | eBook available

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Who Said That First?: The curious origins of common words and phrases

USD $5.99USD $23.99 Tax Included

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 hareWe 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 |

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The Godzone Dictionary: of Favourite New Zealand Words and Phrases

USD $7.99USD $27.99 Tax Included

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 |

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Superstitions: And Why We Have Them

USD $7.99USD $19.99 Tax Included

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 |