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Spilling the beans on the cat's pyjamas : popular expressions : what they mean and where we got them

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健康的身體像小提琴?醃黃瓜與困難有什麼關係?   一本讓你知其然,也能知其所以然的常用片語說明書!
  學英文那麼多年,你有沒有想過,為什麼當人迫不及待去做一件事時會說「with bells on」?形容健康的身體時,又會用一把小提琴來譬喻?這些乍看之下與字面相差十萬八千里的常用片語,其實許多都是沒有邏輯的想像,但是基於常識與習慣,人們常常是無意識地就脫口而出,一旦認真論起來源時,還真教人答不上來。
  《Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pyjamas》的出現,著實讓大家鬆了一口氣。書中除了以淺顯的用語清楚解釋一般人喜愛的常用片語外,更追本溯源地探討這些語詞首次使用的背景與緣由,例如某齣歌劇的台詞,或是某個電視節目的對白等。身為英國教育專家、數本暢銷書作者的Judy Parkinson,活用紮實豐厚的語言知識,摭拾引人入勝的歷史軼聞,帶給讀者這本富含趣味與知性的實用好書。(文/博客來編譯)  
  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?

  Judy Parkinson is a freelance writer who has authored numerous bestselling titles for Michael O'Mara Books, including I Before E (except after C) and Remember, Remember (the fifth of November).

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