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Mothballs and Elbow Grease

National Trust


ISBN: 9781907892165

Price: £ 6.99

Publication date: 5 May 2011

Series: National Trust History & Heritage


A charming, attractively illustrated collection of household sayings with their origins and meanings.

Mothballs and Elbow Grease explores the impact and influence of domestic chores and household items that have become woven into the fabric of everyday life and speech.

From the origins of words like ‘charwoman’ and ‘pantry’ to those turns of phrase which have acquired a broader meaning, such as ‘handle with kid gloves’ and ‘it will all come out in the wash’, this fascinating book pieces together the intriguing background to many widely-used expressions which have their roots set in the domestic life of bygone days.