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Why do you “call shotgun” when you want the front passenger seat? What does “letting the cat out of the bag” have to do with divulging secrets? Why do you ask people to “cut to the chase”? How come you hear all those juicy rumors “through the grapevine”?
Like many people, you’ve probably used idioms or phrases like these without giving them a second thought. But if you were to take a moment to step back and learn about them, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover the mesmerizing and sometimes outright bizarre origins to these fun sayings!
In Why Do We Say That, we have curated 101 of the most regularly used idioms, proverbs, turns of phrases, and colloquial terms that have the most fascinating backstories. For each phrase, we have explained how it was coined, how its use evolved through the ages, and how it gained its contemporary use.
Inside, you will discover:
- What the sanitary conditions of 17th-century London have to do with it’s “raining cats and dogs” today.
- Why taking things “with grain of salt” has to do with an ancient remedy for poison.
- What Southeast Asian warrior traditions have to do with the term to run amuck.
- Why “to break a leg” became something worth aspiring to in the Elizabethan theatres.
- And many, many more.
Click the "Buy Now" button at the top of the page to unravel the mysteries behind popular English idioms.