I promised to post some entries from my upcoming Second Volume of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions. As I have repeatedly stated, many expressions have been wrongly credited in popular dictionaries and online sources. Here is one example which is in the new book:
This old idiom means “I have no idea.” In 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs is often credited for first using it in The Land That Time Forgot, Chapter 4:
“‘Flowering shrubs don’t thrive in the subterranean caverns from which geysers spring,’ suggested Bradley. Olson shook his head. ‘It beats me,’ he said.”
Again, wrong! It was in use figuratively as early as 1824 on page 57, in Douglas, A Tragedy, by John Home, Reduced to Scottish Rhyme, Chiefly the Broad Buchan Dialect:
“Norv. Weel, I am in a primonirie now— ‘Completely beats me how I’m to get through.’”
I have been elated at the positive comments that readers of my most recent phrase origin book have posted on Amazon. Everyone so far has rated it five out of five stars. Earlier this afternoon I was mulling this over and the thought came to me to check and see if any new reviews had been posted since I had looked at the site. I was very pleasantly surprised by what I found. It was a new review by a minister whom I was to find lives and works in Ohio.
He stated that this is “truly the best book of its kind”. I am humbled. He added the comment, “Buy it!”
The secret in writing a book that will sell is to find a subject that a lot of people want to read about, but not everyone has already written about. Then make your work the best that all of your time and effort can develop. That is what I tried to do with Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions. It took between two and a half and three years to bring together and polish up for publication this unusual tome. It is 730 pages in very fine print with wide margins and no illustrations. All of the long hours were worth it. It represents my finest work to date, and others seem to appreciate it.
If you don’t have your copy yet you may order one today in either paperback or Kindle on Amazon worldwide. Email me for instructions on getting an autographed copy at firstname.lastname@example.org .