The Complete Balderdash & Piffle Collection of English Words, and Their Curious Origins
English words and phrases, and their curious origins
Kick the Bucket and Swing the Cat takes a humorous tour through the fascinating, sometimes tragic, and often surprising history of the English language and its etymology.
Author, humorist and word-sleuth Alex Games uncovers the trends, innovations and scandals that have shaped the meanings of our most popular words and expressions, from Chaucer to Internet jargon and Ancient Greek to American slang. Who was the original Jack the Lad, Gordon Bennett or Bloody Mary? Where do dodgy geezers and hooligans come from? What are skeldering, dithering and sabre-rattling?
This amusing but rigorously researched account of English words and their origins combines the findings of the major BBC TV series and the nationwide Wordhunt, and is an entertaining treasure trove for English-language lovers everywhere.
“It was fun, instructive and will appeal to the scholarly in all of us. I see no earthly reason why it should not, as it used to say on theatre posters, run and run”
Peter Paterson, Daily Mail
“It's the kind of show that sticks a boot up the posterior of those who claim the BBC is only interested in dumbing down pap these days”
Dominik Diamond, Daily Star