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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? And that 'cloud nine' started out as 'cloud seven' in the speakeasies of '30s America? This title helps you discover the truth that lies behind the cock-and-bull stories.
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.