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This authoritative, entertaining and eminently browsable reference book, arranged in easily accessible A - Z format, is an absorbing and imaginative feast of Scottish lore, language, history and culture, from the mythical origins of the Scots in Scythia to the contemporary Scotland of the Holyrood parliament and Trainspotting. Here Tartan Tories rub shoulders with Torry girls, the Misery from the Manse exchanges a nod with Stalin's Granny, Thomas the Rhymer and the Wizard of Reay walk hand in hand with Bible John, and the reader is taken for a rollercoaster ride round Caledonia, from Furry Boots City to the Costa Clyde, via the Cold Shoulder of Scotland, the West Lothian Alps and the Reykjavik of the South. The result is a breathtaking and quirky celebration of Scotland, packed with fact and anecdote.
A 'museum of literary odds and ends', this classic work of 1870 elucidates the etymology of 20,000 words and phrases.
Under Crofton's collector's eye, the rollicking spirit of Scotland, old and modern, comes proudly alive' - Sunday Herald Scottish History without the Boring Bits offers a colourful melange of the bawdy, the bloody, the horrific and the hilarious episodes and characters that have spattered the pages of our nation's story. From the War of the One-Eyed Woman to the MP cleared of stealing his ex-mistress's knickers, Ian Crofton presents a host of little-known tales that you won't find in more conventional works of history. The story starts in the 4th millennium BC with the expulsion from Eden of the first Scot. It then makes its way via the medieval bishop roasted in butter and the appearance of the Devil in Ayrshire disguised as a lady's lapdog, right up to the twenty-first century, when US intelligence identified a distillery on Islay as a possible threat to world peace. So forget the usual parade of what James Bridie called 'Wallace-the-Bruceism' and 'Charlie-over-the-waterism'. That's all history. Here, for the first time, is the story of Scotland as it's never been told before. Praise for Ian Crofton's A Dictionary of Scottish Phrase and Fable: 'The kind of book you find yourself immersed in long after you should have put it down' Times Literary Supplement
Who? What? Where? Why? Enquire within for a wealth of fascinating and authoritative information on the stories behind words, names, and sayings. - ;What is a ham-and-egger? What are Anglo-Saxon attitudes? Who or what is liable to jump the shark? Who first tried to nail jelly to the wall? The answers to these and many more questions are in this fascinating book. Here in one volume you can track down the stories behind the names and sayings you meet, whether in classic literature or today's news. Drawing on Oxford's unrivalled bank of reference and language online resources, this dictionary covers classical and other mythologies, history, religion, folk customs, superstitions, science and technology, philosophy, and popular culture. Extensive cross referencing makes it easy to trace specific information, while every page points to further paths to explore. A fascinating slice of cultural history, and a browser's delight from start to finish. What is the fog of war? Who first wanted to spend more time with one's family? When was the Dreamtime? How long since the first cry of Women and children first? Where might you find dark matter? Would you want the Midas touch? Should you worry about grey goo? -
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