Learn the Origin of Common Sayings With The Phrase Finder

If your job responsibilities include putting words to paper or e-mail, from time to time you may be stuck on just the right thing to say.

Or, like me, you might read a saying or phrase in a letter or book that catches your attention because, from a lack of context, you don't know where it originated or how it came to be.

The UK-based site The Phrase Finder lists some 1,200 common sayings, proverbs and idioms and their origins. You may be surprised to learn, as I was, about the most common sources of English idioms:

  • The sea
  • The Bible
  • Shakespeare

For example, you can learn how the making of felt hats, using mercury compounds, was responsible for the phrase "as mad as a hatter."


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