The book is by American Heritage. Don't know what I expected but it's not quite what I was looking for, or is it...
From "Dictionary of IDIOMS" by Christine Ammer
I like opening a book to parts that open naturally. Maybe that's why I like Psalms in the Bible so much. They're almost at the center and so often it's a naturally opening.
"If the shoe fits, wear it" - if something applies to you, accept it. I always felt this was kind of negative but then maybe it was used negatively towards me.
"Lose oneself in" - this is really familiar because I like to lose myself in books and in my Asian television dramas.
"Pay back" - isn't pay back great because you don't have to do anything because it always seems to happen (or it's going to happen at a later date).
"Single file" was termed in the 1670s and it was used for how Native Americans walk in order.
"Tie to apron strings" was not what my husband was. He wasn't tied to my apron strings nor his mother's. However, I know men who are tied to their mother's or wife's apron strings. They can't do anything on their own without "permission". Think I may have been tied to my ex's apron strings. Hmmmm.
"From the horse's mouth" means get the information from the person who said it or from someone in authority who knows what they are talking about. Along this line is "straight from the horse's mouth" which has something to do with "examining the horse's teeth to determine its age and hence it's worth".
"Get" has a lot of different idioms such as "get one's bearings", "get off one's chest", get one's head examined", "get over", "get set", "get religion", "get the goods on", "get someone's goat", "get the drift", "get under someone's skin", etc.
"In a dither" was something mom used to say. She would get kind of strung up (in a flutter or tizzy).
"Mixed feelings", "mixed blessings", "mixed bag" are some of the mixes. All three contain good and bad of feelings, blessings, and what's in the bag or collection.
Now you can see why I'm thinking that maybe this book isn't too bad. Just by saying the phrases without even having what it means gets you thinking. One of the things that I've learned by watching my Asian shows is the commonality between the countries. The United States doesn't have dibs on idioms. It still blows me over when I hear an idiom that I use and it's on Korean television and used like they always have used it.