Spilling the Beans on the Cat’s Pajamas by Judy Parkinson: Book Review

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Cover of Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pajamas by Judy Parkinson

3.5 Stars

Have you ever wondered exactly where some of our more common phrases come from? Judy Parkinson sets out to give a brief definition and history of some colorful, common English sayings.

I found this book interesting and I learned a lot. For example, “Put a sock in it!” comes from the days of the old gramophones. They didn’t have volume controls, so to turn the record player down, owners would put a sock inside the bell the sound emerged from.

While I did enjoy learning the meaning behind some of these sayings, I have to say that the definitions were a bit dry. Take this definition of “shoot the moon”: “This is an expression meaning to leave without paying one’s bills or rent, or to remove swiftly one’s household goods under cover of night to avoid their seizure by a landlord or creditor.” This seemed like a good place to have a little fun or lighten the tone, but instead it felt more like a scholarly work. This is a short little book at 169 pages, so I wasn’t expecting the scholarly tone.

This is an interesting look at some of the origins of our language, and I recommend it for those curious about such things. Christmas is coming up, and I think this would make a good stocking stuffer if you have any lovers of language in your life.

Thanks to FSB Media for sending me a copy for review.

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