Where do English Idioms Come From?

Here's an excellent NPR interview with Christine Ammer, author of The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms.

As a word nerd, this is the kind of book that puts a smile on my face and makes my heart race. Learning where idiomatic expressions came from,  when they were first used, by whom, and whether the meaning and/or spelling has changed over the years―it couldn't get any better than that for me!

Some of the expressions featured include Bite the bullet, Make no bones about it, Take the cake, Elephant in the room, Push up daisies, Dark horse and Pie in the sky. These are things you cannot translate literally, based only on the meanings of words. Context, please!

The 1st edition came out 15 years ago and this one has been reviewed and expanded to include over 10,000 idioms, sayings, phrasal verbs, and interjections with details on their origins and usage. This is a very important documentation of how English has been evolving over the years and a fundamental tool for translators working with the language.