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How Did It Begin: The Origins of Our Curious Customs and Superstitions (Revised Ed.)

by R. L. Brasch

How Did It Begin? is an entertaining look at why we do and say the things we do. Why do we say that cranky people must have got out of bed on the wrong side? Why is it bad luck to whistle at sea? What are crocodile tears? And what is a grass widow? Where did the expression to eat one's hat come from? Why do men and women button their clothes on different sides? Why are horseshoes lucky? And why do we all eventually kick the bucket? With his trademark curiosity and delight, Dr. Rudi Brasch delves into the forgotten meanings and fascinating origins of our customs, traditions, superstitions, and phrases. Divided into themes like courtship and marriage, table manners and drinking customs, right through to the extraordinary rituals connected with the armed services, medicine, and the law, How Did It Begin? is wide-ranging, idiosyncratic, erudite, and engaging.

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