Can you be gruntled? Who was the original dogsbody? And why would you have the screaming ab-dabs?
Long-time word detective Michael Quinion brings us the answers to nearly 200 of the most intriguing questions he's been asked about language over the years. His facts about the quirky meanings and histories behind the slang and language that we all use will delight, amuse and enlighten even the most knowledgeable word-obsessive.
With plenty of colourful stories, Why is Q Always Followed by U? will nit-pick with a dab hand to help you discover the truth behind the cock-and-bull stories. You may be gobsmacked, right as rain or even over the moon – but you'll always be linguistically on the ball.
Praise for Michael Quinion's bestselling
Port Out Starboard Home:
'He tracks down a phrase and pins it down with a wit as sharp as a tack'
'Like being drawn into a great detective story, full of red herrings and bogus alibis'
Mail on Sunday
'I recommend this book: I don't see how it can fail to draw you in. It's the kind of work that you have a hard time disentangling yourself from'
Nicholas Lezard, Guardian