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  • Red Herrings and White Elephantsby Albert Jack

    HarperCollins 2009; US$ 13.59

    Mad hatter . . . pie in the sky . . . egg on your face. We use these phrases every day, yet how many of us know what they really mean or where they came from? From bringing home the bacon to leaving no stone unturned , the English language is peppered with hundreds of common idioms borrowed from ancient traditions and civilizations throughout... more...

  • Loch Ness Monsters and Raining Frogsby Albert Jack

    Random House Publishing Group 2009; US$ 13.98

    FOOLED BY FABLES? LED ON BY LEGENDS? MYTH-GUIDED? WONDER NO MORE, MYSTERY-PHILES: THE TRUTH IS IN HERE! What in the world (or out of it) made those giant crop circles? Did skydiving skyjacker D. B. Cooper really get away with it? Is Bigfoot a big fake? Are ETs just BS? If you’re tired of scratching your head over persistent puzzlers like these, mystery-buster... more...

  • It's a Wonderful Wordby Albert Jack

    Random House 2011; US$ 14.09

    Did you know that an assassin is a hashish-eater and a yokel a country woodpecker? That Dr Mesmer mesmerised patients back to health or that Samuel Pepys enjoyed a good game of handicap ? While we're at it, what have spondulics to do with spines or lawyers with avocados ? In It's a Wonderful Word , bestselling author Albert Jack collects... more...

  • The Old Dog and Duckby Albert Jack

    Penguin Books Ltd 2009; US$ 11.27

    This is a book for everyone who has ever wondered why pubs should be called The Cross Keys , The Dew Drop Inn or The Hope and Anchor . You'll be glad to know that there are very good - strange and memorable - reasons behind them all. After much research about (and in) pubs, Albert Jack brings together the stories behind pub names to reveal how... more...

  • What Caesar Did For My Saladby Albert Jack

    Penguin Books Ltd 2010; US$ 11.27

    Did you know that the Cornish pasty was invented to protect tin miners from arsenic poisoning, or that the word 'salary' comes from Roman soldiers being paid their wages in salt? Why do we eat goose (or turkey) at Christmas? Is the Scotch egg actually from Scotland and what did some retired crusaders have to do with French toast? Who was the original... more...

  • Shaggy Dogs and Black Sheepby Albert Jack

    Penguin Books Ltd 2006; US$ 14.09

    The English language is crammed with colourful phrases and sayings that we use without thinking every day. It's only when we're asked who smart Alec or Holy Moly were, where feeling in the pink or once in a blue moon come from, or even what letting the cat out of the bag really means that we realize that there's far more to English than we might have... more...

  • Phantom Hitchhikers and Decoy Ducksby Albert Jack

    Penguin Books Ltd 2008; US$ 9.86

    'Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. Was Sir Winston Churchill really a Druid? Did Charlie Chaplin lose a lookalike competition? Did The Who's drummer Keith Moon drive his Rolls Royce into a swimming pool? The man with the answers is Albert Jack...' - Daily Express From Walt Disney's frozen head to the kidnap of JFK's brain, Albert... more...

  • Red Herrings & White Elephants - The Origins of the Phrases We Use Every Dayby Albert Jack

    John Blake Publishing 2007; US$ 5.99

    Have you ever wondered what phrases such as 'square meal', 'load of old codswallop', 'egg on your face' or 'in the limelight' mean? Where do they come from? Have you ever taken a moment to wonder what we say actually means? The origins of hundreds of common phrases are explained in this irreverent journey through the most fascinating and richest regions... more...

  • Thistle Versus Roseby Albert Jack

    Hodder & Stoughton 2014; US$ 0.99

    'It is tremendously good fun winding up the Scots. It is terribly easy, particularly Scottish politicians. They can take things far too seriously.' Jeremy Paxman * It's 700 years since England fought Scotland at the Battle of Bannockburn. Miraculously - we still don't understand how - the Scots actually won. It's pretty much the only time they've... more...

  • They Laughed at Galileoby Albert Jack

    Little, Brown Book Group 2015; US$ 15.99

    From the wireless to the computer, and from hula hoops to interplanetary travel, inventions and discoveries have changed our lifestyles in ways that would have astounded our ancestors. Each of them was originally developed by visionaries who dreamt of the seemingly impossible, but who were opposed by an array of experts publicly declaring that ‘It... more...