Long-time word-detective and bestselling author of Port Out, Starboard Home, Michael Quinion brings us the answers to nearly two hundred of the most intriguing questions he's been asked about language over the years. Sent to him by enquiring readers from all around the globe, Michael's answers about the meanings and histories behind the quirky phrases, slang and language that we all use are set to delight, amuse and enlighten even the most hardened word-obsessive.
Did you know that 'Blighty' comes from an ancient Arabic word? Or that Liberace cried his way to the bank so many times people think he came up with the phrase? That 'cloud nine' started out as 'cloud seven' in the speakeasies of '30s America? And that the first person to have their thunder stolen was a dismal playwright from Drury Lane?
Michael Quinion's Why is Q Always Followed By U? is full of surprising discoveries, entertaining quotations and memorable information. There are plenty of colourful stories out there, but Michael Quinion will help you discover the truth that lies behind the cock-and-bull stories and make sure you're always linguistically on the ball.
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Michael Quinion, author of the bestselling Port Out, Starboard Home, has always been fascinated by language. His lexophilia really began in earnest in 1991, when, realising so many new words were missing from the Oxford English Dictionary, he started sending examples of them to the editors. He eventually became an official freelance reader and in the past sixteen years, he has sent in over 160,000 citations. Not satisfied with merely helping the OED, Michael Quinion set up his own language website in 1997, worldwidewords.org. The site has become a huge success as people all over the world ask Michael to tease out the truth behind the quirks of our language.
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