The mother tongue you thought you knew much like the back of your hand turns out to be a horse of a distinct colour.
English is a appropriate old mishmash of languages, a hotchpotch containing absorbed influences piecemeal from the four corners in the earth and across all your seven seas. The upshot is that our lingo, this stuff from which in turn we spin our yarns along with crack our gags, what we use to chew the fat and still have a chinwag, has become a new hotbed of verbal oddities.
These quirky turns of phrase – over you can shake a remain at – are second mother nature to us and we have tried them willy-nilly, at the drop of an hat. But the lion’s share of such common or garden sayings, which we think are plain as being a pikestaff, are actually, if you have your noggin, quite quizzical conundrums, and a lot of them, when they show their genuine colours, appear perfectly potty. Get into the nitty-gritty, and the mother tongue that you just thought you knew like a corner of your hand turns out to be a horse of quite some other colour – more like increase Dutch.
Kudos should go for you to Mark Forsyth, then, author in the Etymologicon, who has tried to look into this linguistic mare’s nest and help us understand the wood for the trees. Clearly men who knows his onions, Mr Forsyth have to have worked 19 to the dozens of, spotting red herrings and unravelling inkhorn terminology, to bestow this boon – a work in the first water, to coin a new phrase.
Original Article via The full English – Telegraph.