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Let's Talk Turkey: The Stories Behind America's Favorite Expressions [Paperback]

Our Price $ 16.14  
Retail Value $ 18.99  
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Item Number 415808  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   252
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.76 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 5, 2008
Publisher   Prometheus Books
ISBN  1591026253  
EAN  9781591026259  

Availability  2 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 05:53.
Usually ships within one to two business days from Momence, IL.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.

Item Description...
Ever wonder what going on the wagon has to do with drinking? Why does extreme behaviour take the cake? And did Americans' pocket change ever really include wooden nickels? Many of our most intriguing expressions grew out of once-familiar bits of American culture, the roots of which are now obscure. Respected linguist Rosemarie Ostler demystifies over 150 of these colourful home-grown figures of speech. She traces each saying from its first known appearance in print to its place in modern English, uncovering a host of cultural and historical titbits along the way. Home-grown metaphors sprang up on American soil almost as fast as the colonists' first bean crop. Just as they learned new farming skills and adjusted to an unfamiliar diet, they shaped their language to fit their new situation.Expressions like to play possum and bury the hatchet are uniquely American - they would hardly have made sense in the old country, where possums didn't exist and where hatchets were used only for splitting firewood. Ostler explains the rich history of figures of speech that grew out of the landscape and culture of North America. Much more than a list of phrases and definitions, "Let's Talk Turkey" is a lively and enjoyable exploration of how Americans developed their own inimitable style of speech. Expressions are arranged by cultural categories. These include some of our most bountiful sources for metaphor - the great outdoors, business, entertainment, politics, cops and robbers, food and drink, and doing chores.The thoroughly researched entries reveal the latest etymological discoveries, along with charming and illustrative quotes. This entertaining, amusing, and very informative reference book is sure to captivate language lovers of all ages, as well as anyone fascinated with the byways and back roads of American lore.

Buy Let's Talk Turkey: The Stories Behind America's Favorite Expressions by Rosemarie Ostler from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781591026259 & 1591026253

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More About Rosemarie Ostler

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! ROSEMARIE OSTLER, a linguist and former librarian, enjoys delving into the rich record of American usage and word invention. Her books about slang and word origins explore the colorful turns of phrase in America's past lexicon. Ostler's articles have appeared in "The Saturday Evening Post, Whole Earth, Christian Science Monitor, Verbatim, Writer's Digest, "and " "among others. Rosemarie lives in Eugene, Oregon.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A fine pick for any library where word history or word quizzes are popular  Oct 7, 2008
LET'S TALK TURKEY: THE STORIES BEHIND AMERICA'S FAVORITE EXPRESSIONS adds to the literary trivia shelf and is a fine pick for any library where word history or word quizzes are popular. From 'going on the wagon' to 'bury the hatchet', this bypasses the usual dictionary format to provide a lively survey of how Americans enhanced and changed speech, arranging expressions by cultural categories to emphasize regional developments and differences.
What a fun and easy read!  Jul 24, 2008
The entire book was very enjoyable but the best was the storytelling behind my favorite phrases -so, whether I'm "singing like a canary" or "pleading the fifth", what I've learned will make my own storytelling a lot more entertaining.
I'll just "cut to the chase"....  Jul 23, 2008
What a great book! It contains some very interesting and fun facts behind expressions that you hear every day. What the book teaches you about natural world sayings, business and political terms, culture and amusement expressions (my favorite), or phrases on the home front, will "knock your socks off"!
Let's Talk Turkey - who knew?  Jun 10, 2008
Fun and informative, Ostler uncovers the origins of common American expressions and gives fascinating historical details about the people and times behind the way we talk. Think you know how we got the term "The Whole Nine Yards?" Think again! I was amazed and entertained. A fun read for writers and for anyone who loves language -- a book I'll go back to again and again.

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