Kick the bucket and swing the cat

kick the bucket(Photo credit: BBC Books and The Random House Group Ltd.)

(Image shown above is an illustration of a woman kicking a bucket whilst swinging a cat. Image also displays the author and title of the book: Kick the bucket and swing the cat: the Balderdash & Piffle collection of English words, and their curious origins,  Alex Games)

Ever wondered where we get the expression Kick the bucket from? Or who was the original Jack the Lad, Gordon Bennett or Bloody Mary?

Kick the bucket and Swing the cat takes a humorous look at the fascinating and often surprising history of the English language and its etymology.

Author, humorist and word-sleuth Alex Games uncovers the trends and scandals that have shaped the meanings of our most popular words and expressions, from Chaucer to internet jargon and Ancient Greek to American slang.

Combining the findings of the BBC TV series Balderdash & Piffle with a nationwide Wordhunt for the Oxford English Dictionary, this book is a personal yet rigorously researched account of English words and their origins.

You can find further details of Kick the bucket and Swing the cat on the main catalogue (available in ‘Catalogues’ on the Library’s website)