Why do my cliche origin books continue to sell?

Back in 2010 I had been curious about the origins of popular metaphors and adages that we all use and never think about how they got started. I started searching through the Internet, looking at books, etc., and found much conflicting information. One problem was what is known as ‘Folk etymology,’ nice little stories, often made up or passed down which “held no water.’ So I decided to do some serious study. I needed to debunk myths. Over the next year I put a collection of a few hundred together, adding a bit of humor, and published a book titled On the Origin of the Cliches and the Evolution of Idioms. This was a facetious take off on Darwin’s  Origin of the Species. I was pleasantly surprised at the number that started selling. I followed it up the next year with a second volume. Then in 2013 I unpublished the second volume after introducing a huge book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions,, which grew to 740 pages with revisions over the next two years. Amazon called it a ‘hot new release,’ and it took off ‘right out of the gate.’

A second volume of that book has new been released. My cliche origin books have sold thousands of copies, both paperbacks and Kindle e-books, in seven countries around the globe. They have received high acclaim and have been used in colleges, and as reference works. They have been used to teach English as a second language.

My research goes on. I am working on a third and final volume for this series which I feel even rivals the original for originality and content. It will have around 1,400 new sayings and phrases, with many proverbs and Southern Americanisms. It is due out in 2019. Here is one I researched today:

Fixing to (or, ‘fixin’ to’)

This largely Southern American idiom means that one is in the process of planning to do something: getting ready to. Even before it was used in the South,  fix, from the Latin ‘fixus’ (settled), evolved in the U.K. between the 14th and 17th centuries from meaning attaching or settling something to adjusting or arranging things. It only became primarily used for repairing something in the 18th century. But the idea remained as arranging things, or ‘setting one’s mind.’ Similar citations appear earlier, but this one from Testimony Taken by the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs: The Late Insurrectionary States, Georgia, Volume II, published in Washington, D.C., 1872, on page 648 is very clear as to context:

“I thought perhaps they were fixing to get my mare and carry her off.”

This connotation remained with the Scotch Irish and English who had immigrated to the American South, and particularly, from Appalachia to Texas, where ‘fixing to’ is still used today.

BUT don’t wait two years. Get the first two volumes on Amazon today. They are selling because they are different, and more nearly accurate.

Why do so many celebrities change their names?

I have had the privilege of meeting a number of important people in my run at life. With several of them I have I have had personal dealings or connections. In 2015 I released a book titled 200 Celebrities Who Changed and How They Found Success. It was overshadowed by the popularity of my phrase origin books, but in its own way it was unique. If you haven’t seen it, and trivia interests you, you may want to get a copy of this book. Below is the Introduction: It’s available on Amazon.

There are numerous reasons why persons in the public eye change their names (or have it done for them). Many times it is simply because their birth names are too long, complex, ethnic, or would be difficult to pronounce or remember. Some have taken their mother’s maiden names, or the surname of a stepfather or first husband which was never dropped. But many others are much more complex. For instance, why did Rudolf Walter Wanderone, Jr. and James A. Moore, Jr. both take the names of fictional characters that they claimed were based on them and how did doing so change their lives forever?

At least 20 featured entertainers who took stage names were from Jewish immigrant families. Many were impoverished; some were abused; several were forced to work as young children to help pay family bills. Many were from broken homes, and some never knew their biological fathers, often being placed in foster care. One worked as a prostitute, one a bootlegger; another was a drug dealer. Several were jailed. One was expelled from school and many were dropouts. How did these broken individuals climb to the top of their professions? It took dogged determination and encouragement, and likely, a new name.

In this pictorial book of trivia, one unique feature is that I include popular actors, singers, dancers, authors, sports figures, magicians, entrepreneurs, broadcasters, models and others who longed to create a public persona which he or she felt was worthy of his or her audience, revealing the circumstances and reasons behind the changes and how they built the public perceptions which took them up the ladder of success. I have been very selective in order to provide a variety of intriguing personalities and stories of overcoming adversity.