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How on earth did 'with bells on' come to express enthusiasm? What do chips on shoulders have to do with inferiority complexes? And who is the face that launched a thousand ships?
Did you know that 'the rule of thumb' refers to the use of the thumb to make measurements, as the first joint of the average adult thumb measures one inch?
Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pyjamas provides us with the meanings of these well-worn and much-loved phrases by putting these linguistic quirks in context, and explaining how and why they were first used.
Absorbing, diverting and fascinating - as far as gift books go, Spilling the Beans really is the bee's knees!