In my quest for factual knowledge about the etymology and early citations of proverbs and idiomatic expressions for my books, I have been greatly enriched by revisiting old friends and making new ones. It has seemed even more intense than preparing a theses for a post graduate degree. In the past several months of research into hundreds of fresh phrases and their meanings and beginnings, I have revisited giants of literature like William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Alexander Pope, John Rey, etc, and found new individuals whom I had never explored, who contributed much to the rich history of the world and to our ever-evolving English tongue. One of these is French Huguenot courtier and poet, Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, whose powerful His Divine Weekes and Workes were translated into English by Josuah Sylvester in 1641, From this work.we get the first known citation of ‘loud and clear’ which we have been told came into use only during World War II. Then there is the Duke of Buckingham, who coined the phrase, ‘to die in the last ditch’ in the 17th century (sometimes attributed to Thomas Jefferson) leading to our common expression, ‘last ditch effort’. Then there’s Henry Cockton, who in The Life and Adventures of Valentine Vox, Ventriloquist, 1840., used the term ‘I wasn’t born yesterday’ which a major slang dictionary tells us wasn’t coined until the late 19th or early 20th century. And the list goes on.
But each of you may experience a portion of this wonder for yourselves by getting a copy of my first volume of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions at stclairpublications.com, or any Amazon site worldwide. After you have thoroughly read those 740 pages, before year’s end, I hope to have this second exciting volume out! I hope you enjoy them half as much as I still am.