Where did expressions like this come from anyway?
Now finally we´ll know what "letting the cat out of the bag" or "going on a wild-goose chase" refers to. In this fun collection of more than 400 curious expressions and sayings, Dr. Funk explains the meanings that we use in everyday speech without even thinking about it. He has traced them back through the years -- in some cases centuries -- in an effort to determine their sources, to find out what the original allusions were, or at the very least, to give us his expert opinion when facts cannot be traced.
Charles Earle Funk was editor in chief of the Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary Series. He wrote several other books on word and phrase origins, including Horsefeathers, Heavens to Betsy!, and Thereby Hangs a Tale.