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Flying by the Seat of Your Pants: Surprising Origins of Everyday Expressions [Paperback]

Harry Oliver
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

List Price: $13.95
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Book Description

January 4, 2011 039953637X 978-0399536373 Original
Let's "cut to the chase" and "make no bones about it"-this book will have you "pleased as punch."

Sowing your wild oats, throwing in the towel, painting the town red...Harry Oliver reveals the fascinating stories behind these and other strange turns of phrase steeped in the weird and wonderful history and traditions of everyday life. From quirky terms to street and city names and more, this book answers the questions you never thought to ask.

? What ancient empire coined the phrase "green with envy"?
? Who was the first person to "get someone's goat"?
? Which writer first penned, "I'll eat my hat!"



Frequently Bought Together

Flying by the Seat of Your Pants: Surprising Origins of Everyday Expressions + The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language + Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language
Price for all three: $38.49

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Writer and editor Harry Oliver holds a fascination for the quirky stories behind aspects of our everyday lives. The author of Bubble Gum and Hula Hoops and Black Cats and Four-Leaf Clovers, he lives and works in London. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade; Original edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039953637X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399536373
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars this is a really cute book... June 12, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a really cute little book, but a word of warning to those of you who prefer to learn about the idiomatic sayings of American English: this book is more for those who are interested in British English. There are a few sayings which cross over into both British and American English, but it is predominantly British. Still, it's a cute read for a short flight.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flying by the Seat of your Pants October 22, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book seemed to be more tuned to British sayings. It was never advertised as such but some of the saying's origins were of no interest to me.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as scholarly as I would have hoped. October 28, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although interesting, the material presented gives the impression that he made up some of it, or heard it on the street. I expected a much more scholarly treatment. As it is, I can't rely on the material in the book, and certainly will not quote anything in it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book December 24, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for anyone who likes language and is interested in finding out what certain phrases mean. Many of the phrases are familiar, but you may not know how they came about.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Lovers of Language March 18, 2011
By Ruthie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Many phrases are reviewed*. (*historical roots of the phrases) Each description is from 2 to 6 paragraphs - i.e. a quick reference. Wonderful information.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book October 21, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is good! It has lots of cool little tid bits. Fun to share with your family! Hope you enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very happy February 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
was very happy with purchase. fast delivery. will not hesitate to do business with them in the future. recommend them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flying by the Seat of Your Pants January 20, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a quick read and fun to find out the stories behind the phrases. This is a good book for all ages.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fast and cheap
Published 6 days ago by redlist
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent dinner-time conversation starter
We have this in our dining room and read one of the explanations at dinner. The kids enjoy reading the origins of phrases and they often spark interesting conversations.
Published 5 months ago by Geoff Turner
2.0 out of 5 stars Content disappointing
Have often wondered about the origins of many frequently used sayings. This book did not satisfy my curiosity - it needed to include many, many more of our everyday sayings.
Published 6 months ago by patricia j falcone
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for a friend
The book is just fun! I gave it to a friend who is into this kind of thing and she liked it.
Published 6 months ago by JOANN BORNHOLDT
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice!!
A funny book. And a quick read. I love English. So many aha moments. Took me a a day to get through it
Published 7 months ago by Jarreaux
3.0 out of 5 stars Obscure everyday expressions
When ordering this, I was not aware that this book was written by a British author. So all of the "everyday expressions" will not be familiar to you even AFTER reading the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mr. Steven C. Stanga
4.0 out of 5 stars Flying by the Seat of Your Pants
This was bought as a gift for my grandson and I only looked at it briefly. It looked very interesting and he said he really enjoyed the book.
Published 17 months ago by Jacquelyn L. Larson
4.0 out of 5 stars Flying by the seat of your Pants
Flying by the Seat of Your Pants was a gift given to my mother. I have not heard from her if she has even read it yet. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Sue Sjogren
3.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't buy again
Easy Read. No surprise info. Still don't know how or why pigs fly! Didn't feel that I learned anything new.
Published 18 months ago by Kate
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