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"So To Speak": A Delightful Catalogue Of English Expressions

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The late Shirley and Harold Kobliner's encyclopedia of expressions was published by Simon and Schuster through the efforts of daughter Beth Kobliner.

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Authors Shirley and Harold Kobliner in 2011 (Beth Kobliner)

Today, we’re going to have some fun with a delightful book about English expressions, those idiomatic turns of phrase whose provenance isn’t always, or perhaps, hardly ever, known, but whose place in our language is undisputed. We're talking about phrases like “over the moon,” or “under the weather”; “on top of the world,” or “in over your head.”

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Beth Kobliner is a journalist, financial writer and mom.

For more than a decade, husband-and-wife educators Harold and Shirley Kobliner collected sayings like these that they heard in conversations and on various media. They compiled and organized them in a book that includes thousands of expressions.

Joining Tom today is their daughter, Beth Kobliner, to help us understand something about some of these phrases that so captivated her late parents, and to play some games that test our colloquial knowledge. The book is called So to Speak: 11,000 Expressions That’ll Knock Your Socks Off.

If you’d like to join in, give us a call. Calling, rather than e-mail, is going to be your best bet, your chance to run the table, your opportunity to hit the jackpot. (Get it?) Call: 410 662 8780. Studio director Luke Spicknall mans the phones (and runs the board).

Beth Kobliner joins us on our digital line from from New York City.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Rob is Midday's senior producer.