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Kooky Catchphrases `Nipped In The Bud'

Where did strange sayings like `the bee's knees' or `jumping the shark' originate?

Where did strange sayings like `the bee's knees' or `jumping the shark' originate?

Thursday, April 29, 2010 17:22 GMT

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Catchphrases let us say what we mean, even if we don’t know the meaning behind what we say.

Word nerd Albert Jack has just penned his latest book, Black Sheep And Lame Ducks: The Origins Of Even More Phrases We Use Every Day (Perigee), out May 4.

He’s revealing the origins of phrases like “bee’s knees” – which literally has to do with a bee’s legs – because he wants people to actually know what they’re saying.

For example, when someone says a TV show is “jumping the shark” and becoming totally unrealistic, they should know that the phrase came from a ridiculous moment in Happy Days when The Fonz literally jumped over a shark while waterskiing in a leather jacket.

Personally, Jack’s favorite idiom is “hair of the dog.”

That refers to a drink that’s used to cure a hangover. A hair of the dog at a pub inspired him to write books about weird phrases.

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