I have an interest in language, so I was thrilled when a friend gave me a book called 2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings & Expressions by Charles Earle Funk (of Funk & Wagnall’s dictionary fame). As you might expect from the title, this book traces the origins of various idioms that have become such common fixtures in the English language.
This book was first published in 1948, and Funk’s writing style is a bit on the archaic, long-winded, academic side. His paragraphs are very long and he makes frequent use of commas, which results in rather tedious reading at times. But fortunately, this isn’t the kind of book that you sit and read straight through. It’s a reference, and as such can be taken up to look for a particular phrase or can be read for a few minutes just for personal edification.
Once you get past the writing style, I think you’ll find that the book is very interesting. I’ve actually learned quite a bit from this book and therefore recommend it to everyone!