Interview on WFAE’s “Charlotte Talks” about the history of English idioms (July 31, 2012).
Actors tell each other to “break a leg” before going on stage. Here at Charlotte Talks we like to do shows that are “a horse of a different color” and we certainly strive to spend time “off the beaten path.” So today, we explore the history behind some of the most well-known phrases in the English language. Some histories may be known but others will be “brand spanking new.” And, along the way, our experts will debunk some phrase origins to help you take them “with a grain of salt.” So, don’t “bust our chops,” “if you can’t beat us, join us” for a history of idioms.
Ralf Thiede – Associate Professor for Applied Linguistics, UNC Charlotte
Ben Zimmer – Executive Producer, Visual Thesaurus and Vocabulary.com