One for Sorrow: The Origins of Old-Fashioned Lore - Chloe Rhodes
Day-to-day speech is peppered with certain phrases, pithy sayings and folkore and this little book endeavours to give us the origin, and meaning of some of those phrases, with little observations which have been handed down over time, and an idea of how these sayings have altered over time. Citing sources from as far back as the ancient Greeks, and in every instance citing the first English reference to each phrase, a history lesson is given for each saying. We learn how each has changed meaning over the centuries, and how some have a scientific truth behind them, making them more than just lore. Few regional variations are provided, and only one or two references to American versions but it's easy to see the links, especially for this former Australian who grew up with similar, but not exactly the same maxims as those included in the book. Included is a bibliography, a handy index, and it is peppered throughout with woodcuts by Charles Bewick by way of illustration. This book was a short, interesting read which corrected certain misinterpretations of adages on my part, and thus I think it two hours well spent.