I found this book at the library sometime sorting through donations. I loved the title and am glad I held onto it– if you are a fan of language, this is a fun one. I read parts and talked about the book a bit on the radio yesterday morning that you can listen to here. The book is a compilation of expressions that we may have heard of, though originally published in 1948– many of the phrases are “out of use”. Many of the expressions come from farm life and reference animals such as ‘to buy a pig in poke’ which refers to a phrase found in many languages meaning to buy something that has not been seen. Many of the phrases root back to Ireland or Scotland as well as other places around the world.
The introduction, nearly 20 pages long, focuses on the phrase that the title of the book comes from: as independent as a pig on ice. I appreciate the thoroughness with which Funk goes to ensure the historical accuracy of the phrase as well as his own personal interests and anecdotes. The rest of the book has much shorter summaries for each phrase making it a great book to pick up and put down at your leisure. I finished this off under a cloudy sky in the hot tub this morning.