Books on phrase origins

by Mark Israel
     [This is a fast-access FAQ excerpt.]
Be warned that every book on phrase origins so far published
has etymologies that are more speculative and less rigorous than
those in general dictionaries.
Christine Ammer  Have a Nice Day -- No Problem! : A Dictionary of
Cliches  Plume Penguin, 1992, ISBN 0-452-27004-9
Robert Hendrickson  The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and
Phrase Origins  Facts on File, 1987, ISBN 0-86237-122-7  (The
paperback reprint, The Henry Holt Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase
Origins, is no longer available.)
Nigel Rees   Bloomsbury Dictionary of Phrase and Allusion
Bloomsbury, 1991, ISBN 0-7475-1217-5
Ivor H. Evans, ed.  Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
14th ed., Harper & Row, 1989, ISBN 0-304-31835-3
Charles Earle Funk  2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings, and
Expressions from White Elephants to Song & Dance  (an omnibus of
four earlier books, 1948-58)  Galahad, 1993, ISBN 0-88365-845-3