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Kick the Bucket and Swing the Cat

The complete Balderdash & Piffle collection of English Words, and Their Curious Origins

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Kick the Bucket and Swing the Cat takes a humorous tour through the fascinating, sometimes tragic, and often surprising history of the English language and its etymology.

Author, humorist and word-sleuth Alex Games uncovers the trends, innovations and scandals that have shaped the meanings of our most popular words and expressions, from Chaucer to Internet jargon and Ancient Greek to American slang. Who was the original Jack the Lad, Gordon Bennett or Bloody Mary? Where do dodgy geezers and hooligans come from? What are skeldering, dithering and sabre-rattling?

This amusing but rigorously researched account of English words and their origins combines the findings of the major BBC TV series and the nationwide Wordhunt, and is an entertaining treasure trove for English-language lovers everywhere.

Kick the Bucket and Swing the Cat
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  • £7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Published: 31 January 2011
  • Publisher: Ebury Publishing
  • Print Length: 544 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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