Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

I was listening to Desert Island Discs, the guest was Celia Imrie and I was delighted that she chose Brewer’s as her book. If you never looked at it, it’s a mine of the weird and wonderful a treasury of serendipity! It’s useful for crosswords and for amazing your friends. For instance, we’ve all said that someone is as happy as Larry, but who was Larry and why was he happy? Well he was probably Larry Foley (1847 - 1917) the famous Australian boxer…But the best thing is to just open it at random and see what’s there, so here we go, page 403 "February. The month of purification amongst the ancient Romans (Lat. februo, I purify by sacrifice)…The anglo Saxons called this month “sprout-kale” from the sprouting of cabbage or kale. In the French Republican calendar it was called Pluviôse, rain month…see also FILL-DYKE"

It has all sorts of “SEE” references which lead you on to more obscure and fascinating facts…