Status of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions Volume III

I just received a comment from a dedicated reader and owner of my popular cliche origin books asking me if a third volume of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches (etc) is in the works. It is time for me to notify everyone of the status of this effort. A few months ago the hard drive of my primary work computer crashed! I had done eight months research on a third volume which was on this devise and not backed up. I took it to a local shop which informed me that they were unable to retrieve the files. Later a friend in Utah volunteered to examine the drive and determine if he could do the work. Again, no luck. He did, however, provide me with information on two shops who do this type of data retrieval which is very expensive and time-consuming. One is less expensive, but takes longer to get around to each new job because of high demand. I sent the drive there, and hope that they can accomplish retrieval. Whenever this is completed, I plan on continuing work on this research as time permits.

I truly appreciate the thousands who already own my popular books, and trust that you will be awaiting the last one in this series when it becomes available!

Well, it happened again! Thank you!

It was great to see that in addition to 5 other copies of my popular book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions which sold yesterday on Amazon, one individual ordered 17 copies! That happened about a year or so ago when someone ordered 19 copies at the same time. It may be the same person…but I would expect it is a teacher, professor or school ordering them for a class, since I know it has been used as a text book to help teach English as a second language.  I am very grateful for this, and feel honored! But only one copy of the second volume sold yesterday. Of course all purchases are appreciated, but I can’t help but think about all those people who have, and use, my original volume who are missing out on the 1000 + additional entries in the second one which were researched just as meticulously as the others and would improve their library of phrase origins and meanings!

So… If you have the first one, whether you bought it yourself, or received it as a gift, I know you would love Volume II! get your copy today on Amazon or the St. Clair Publications website!

Both Book Signings Now Scheduled

 

 

 

I now have details to the second of my two local library signings of my Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions books, original volume and brand new Volume II.

The first one will be Thursday, October 20 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM at Magness Library in historic downtown McMinnville, Tennessee. This is an exclusive event.

The second will include me along with two other authors in an event at Morrison Public Library in the center of Morrison, Tennessee.between the hours of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM on Saturday November 5.

At both signings I will have available copies of both books at special discount prices, plus I will be available for photo ops and questions about my work. These books have received high critical acclaim and the first book is in libraries, public schools and Universities across America in the UK and Continental Europe. They are different because of the thousands of hours which went into research over six years to produce as accurate an account of origins and changes through the years as possible, not just cute stories like some books contain. I hope tp see many friends and make new ones!

Throwback Thursday

The year on this photo gives it away. This is Rhonda and me on a lake cruise on Lake Mead near Las Vegas on the Arizona Border. This was the second time I had visited Vegas and been to Hoover Dam. It’s a lovely place and everyone should go at least once.

Throwback Thursday is one of over 1,000 entries in my new book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, in its final look over before early release. In this one I have a lot of newer phrases identified, plus lots more old ones. Here’s the entry:

Throwback Thursday

This is a term used for a modern trend by users of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when posting or reposting old photos. According to an article in Sports Illustrated Magazine, August 22, 2013,  ‘From Hardwood to Hashtag: How NBA Culture Gave Rise to Throwback Thursday the term was coined on a blog named ‘Nice Kicks’ about sneakers in 2006.

Stay tuned for my announcement of the early release date!

Not by any stretch of the imagination!

I have received most of the edits now on the second volume of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, from my editor, Kathy Barney, and the balance will quickly follow. I am staying busy incorporating the edits into the master manuscript, and all is on schedule for the promised October 1 launch.

In the meantime I have added a few extra entries along the way which I deemed worthy to be a part of this new massive work. One of those is “Not by any stretch of the imagination.” I am posting the entry below:

Not by any stretch of the imagination^ (or ‘by no stretch…’)

This old adage means that no matter how hard one tries, it would be difficult to accept something. A major online dictionary places the origin of ‘by any stretch’ at late 1700s.  The idea of stretching one’s imagination, however, goes back many years earlier, to the Friday, 13 April 1729 issue of the London publication, The  Spectator, in which the following appeared on the front page:

“The Gentleman was as diligent to do Juftice to his fine Parts, as the Lady to her beauteous Form: You might fee his Imagination on the Stretch to find out fomething uncommon, and what they call bright, to entertain her; while fhe writhed her felf into as many different Poftures to engage him.”

In a 1793 publication of The Plays of William Shakespeare, a notation from ‘The Historical Account from the English Stage, Vol. II’ by Malone contains the following with a negative connotation:

“It appears that when Pericles was originally performed, the theatres were furnished with  no  such apparatus as  by any stretch of the imagination could be suppofed to present either a sea, or a ship…”                                                                                                                                    

They got it wrong!

This exciting second volume of phrase origins and meanings will be released on October 1, 2016. Be watching Amazon at that time!:

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:

Beats me^

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.’”

First peek at the new book front!

In just over three months the new Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions Volume II containing over 1,000 brand new entries will be released. It is with the editor being polished up, and today I am posting the first look at the front cover! It has many hundred new Americanisms, a few hundred British idioms, and quite a few which are exclusively used in Australia and New Zealand. It has numerous proverbs and quotes not included in the original or its revisions, and even a few oxymorons which have become cliche. Stay tuned to my blog for updates.

COMPREHENSIVE COVER 6-4-16b.jpg

Good news!

The first draft draft of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, Volume II is complete, and the manuscript has been sent to the editor. This process will take a couple of months, then a proof will be ordered. That will be carefully examined, and be ready for release by the predetermined  date of 1 October. This work has been just as carefully planned and researched as the first book, and has many cross references to the original, and other entries in this new one. The two volumes have been designed to compliment and  go ‘hand in hand’ with each other. Together they will be like an encyclopedia of phrase meanings and origins, the like of which has never been written before. This one takes a few new twists, though. It contains more national and local colloquialisms than the original. It has hundreds of British sayings and quite a few which are native only to Australia and New Zealand. And if you live in rural America, ‘we’ve got you covered’ there also. The cover is slightly altered and I will be posting a picture later. And I’ve added some cliche oxymorons!

In the meantime, check out the original on our website at stclairpublications.co or Amazzon sites worldwide. Whatever you do, get the first volume first. Come back to this blog soon for examples on some of  what to expect!

Have you ever drawn a blank?

Have you ever been asked a difficult question and you just ‘drew a blank’? Most of us have, so ‘Don’t feel like the lone ranger’ Have you ever wondered where that metaphoric expression originated and how it came to be used the way it is today?

In my best-selling reference book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches. Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, which is in numerous public and university libraries across America, I listed over 1500 expressions and located the most likely origins, most with early citations, and many of which I was able to prove other researchers findings were not correct. ‘Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger is just one of those. But after the publication, and even two revisions of that book, I found so many more which really need to be explained, many of which were also incorrect in some other well respected and much used sources. One that was very interesting was ‘Draw a blank.’ Here is a sneak preview from my upcoming Volume II of Most Comprehensive Origins… to be released this October:

Draw a blank                                                                                                                                           

This is a very old idiom in the English language, stemming from British lotteries set up in Tudor England under Elizabeth I in 1567. Tickets with the names of purchasers were put into a ‘lot pot’. Another pot held slips of paper, some with prizes written on them, others blank. A name would be drawn, then a paper from the prize pot. Those who drew the blank papers were said to have ‘drawn a blank.’

Lotteries continued and in July, 1786, The Scotts Magazine, in ‘Parliament: Commons on the Greenland Fishery’ uses the term about the lottery:

“…his lot was equal to a 20,000 L prize in the lottery; whilst another, who chanced to fail of success, was like a man who drew a blank.

This usage continued through the 19th century, and into the 20th. The phrase, however, had been in print even earlier, in A Commentary upon the Fourth Book of Moses, Called Numbers by Simon, Lord Bishop of Ely, 1699, page 193:

“Then mixing all these in an Urn, he nad them come and draw: And. to every one who drew a Schedule, that had the Name of Elder in it, he said, God hath sanctified thee but to him that drew a Blank, he said, God hath not chosen thee.”

In Glenlonely; or, The Daemon Friend, Volume 3 by William Henry De Merle, 1839, the phrase is used figuratively of Sir Bruce Crawford’s quest for marriage (all marriage being ‘a lottery’ was voiced by Queen Victoria) on page 171:

“About three years after his divorce, he once more decided on the lottery of marriage: in England he had drawn a blank; in France he was more fortunate. Miss St. Clair was all that could add to the happiness of man; but, alas! how rarely does it happen that they who win the purest gems are allowed to wear them long…”

Note: another metaphor was employed in speaking of women as ‘the purest gems’, and being married as ‘wearing them’.

It was the 1930s before ‘draw a blank’ came into common figurative use. In Princeton Alumni Weekly, April 20, 1937 in ‘The Thumbnail Sketch’, number 130 by H.G. Murray on page 11:

“This after the college police and town force had drawn a blank. Ned simply strolled around the purlieus of the burgh, saw his suit on a mucker, and in the parlance of the local press, ‘apprehended the criminal.’”

2 Most Comprehensive cover

Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches New Limited Time Offer

My unique phrase origin book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and FIgurative Expressions was released originally in March, 2013, and the paperback version has been revised twice since then, adding about 100 new entries. It has been ordered by numerous libraries and has become a favorite of authors, ministers,teachers and public speakers, as well as countless everyday folk in seven countries where it has sold. It received remarkable reviews and praise from persons of all walks of life. It has 740 pages and delves deeper into the meanings, origins and changes of our everyday English expressions than any other book of its type. Check out the reviews on Amazon.com.

Because sales this bookhave been so great  over the past few weeks, I have decided to make a limited time offer to my blog readers who order directly from my website at stclairpublications.com by Monday, December 14. Whether ordering for a gift or a personal copy, each copy will be personally autographed with a note to the person requested. After placing your order, simply send me an email at stan@stclair.net telling me the name to use.

Thank all of you for your interest in my work, and I wish you each a happy holiday season and a very prosperous 2016.