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Biting the Bullet and Taking the Cake: Idioms and Our Language

The devil really isn’t in the details, and rarely does anyone literally pull your leg. But we still use these expressions. Why and where do they come from? This hour on Focus, we talked with Christine Ammer, author of the new American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. 

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(Duration: 49:52)

The flourless chocolate cake we're "taking" during this hour on Focus.

The flourless chocolate cake we're "taking" during this hour on Focus. Wikimedia Commons

Christine Ammer is the author of more than a dozen reference books including “The Facts on File Dictionary of Cliches,” “Fruitcakes and Couch Potatoes and Other Delicious Expressions” and her latest, “The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms.” This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Ammer about the origins of our favorite phrases and about what an idiom really is. 

We also want to hear from you this hour! What expressions roll off your tongue? Do you have a favorite one that’s of note? Maybe you have a question about the origins of something you say… Give us a call, post in the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter @Focus580.

Tags: idioms, grammar