Common phrases and the stories behind them

For Immediate Release
Wed, 09/29/2010


Rob Christopher

CHICAGO—ALA Editions, the publishing imprint of the American Library Association, announces the release of “Common Phrases: And the Amazing Stories Behind Them,” by Max Cryer. This humorous and informative book is “as good as gold” for word buffs...“we kid you not!” Cryer unearths the stories behind hundreds of the words and phrases used in everyday speech. Librarians are equally adept at using language and seeking information, and this delightful book speaks to both activities, making it a wonderful gift. Stuffed with fascinating trivia that’s as fun to read as it is valuable for reference use, this volume explains the origins of idioms such as:

  •         “bad hair day” (former Today host Jane Pauley claims to have coined the term);
  •         “canned laughter “ (a CBS engineer named Charley Douglass invented the name and use);
  •         “cold turkey” (popularized by the novel and movie "The Man with the Golden Arm").
Cryer is a writer and entertainer. He has performed in London, Las Vegas and Hollywood and is also the author of “Love Me Tender,” a book about the world’s favorite love songs. He lives in New Zealand.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or