Idiom Collection

Did you know that an idiom has been defined as an expression whose meaning does not seem to follow logically from the combination of the meaning of its parts and the ” rules of language?” The term could be defined as a language oddity.

For example, a person may be said to be ” under the weather” (meaning temporarily unwell), even though this has nothing to do with weather or being literally ” under” anything. Therefore, idioms are often classified as figures of speech.

The process of amassing a collection of such idioms and other language oddities began innocently enough when Santa Rosa Orthodontist Dr. David Schaal urged his office staff, friends, understanding family, patients, and parents of patients to ” jot down” any saying, slogan or catchy phrase that came to mind. For years, they all did exactly that by entering them in a small notebook he kept handy in his office or at home.

As each notebook was filled up, another took its place until three notebooks were crammed full with over 2, 300 one-liners, many of them understandingly duplicates. Then slips of paper took the place of notebooks and the list continued to grow. Even after Doctor Dave retired from practice, the list kept growing and continues to flourish. Family gatherings often result in new contributions to the list. Even dinner guests and visiting relatives willingly jot down remembered favorites they feel aremissing from the collection.

When the collection got so big it overwhelmed a conventional manila file folder, it was time to figure out what to do with the notebooks and pile of loose notes. The consensus was to turn the collection over to brother Don Schaal to edit and publish the results. In the beginning, Don elected to enter all the entries into a database to help eliminate duplicates and facilitate alphabetization. Then came the mutual decision to compile the database entries and publish the collection as an on-going family ” work in progress.” Thus was born the humorous coffee-table reference book titled The Homespun Collection of Catch Phrases, Slogans & Idioms (ISBN 1-4116-3177-3).

Many of the catchy phrases, slogans and idioms found in the collection are sure to bring back old memories, such as ” a fool and his money are soon parted, ” or ” come rain or come shine.” More recently, the phrases ” operators are standing by” or ” can youhear me now?” are certain to conjure up more recent fond recollections.

No attempt was made to list sources for any of the phrases, slogans or idioms, but there is a bibliography at the end of the book listing web sites that will lead you to such sources (print or on-line) if you are interested. Merely typing in the word ” idioms” in your favorite search engine will lead the web surfer to literally hundreds of references¬†To find out more about how to buy this book, go here –

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