You wouldn’t be ‘barking mad’ if, when asked the definition of certain phrases, ‘the cat got your tongue’ and you ‘clammed up’. Let’s not ‘beat around the bush’; the English language is littered with linguistic quirks that, on closer examination, seem utterly fantastical. In Spilling the Beans on the Cat’s Pyjamas, Judy Parkinson explores the many colourful – but rather incomprehensible – phrases that enhance our language, describing their origins and defining their true meanings.
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