Long-time word-detective and bestselling author of Port Out, Starboard Home, Michael Quinion brings us the answers to nearly two hundred of the most intriguing questions he's been asked about language over the years. Sent to him by enquiring readers from all around the globe, Michael's answers about the meanings and histories behind the quirky phrases, slang and language that we all use are set to delight, amuse and enlighten even the most hardened word-obsessive. Did you know that 'Blighty' comes from an ancient Arabic word? Or that Liberace cried his way to the bank so many times people think he came up with the phrase? That 'cloud nine' started out as 'cloud seven' in the speakeasies of '30s America? And that the first person to have their thunder stolen was a dismal playwright from Drury Lane? Michael Quinion's Why is Q Always Followed By U? is full of surprising discoveries, entertaining quotations and memorable information. There are plenty of colourful stories out there, but Michael Quinion will help you discover the truth that lies behind the cock-and-bull stories and make sure you're always linguistically on the ball.