This book addresses a central problem in phraseological and linguistic analysis. The creative structure and the creative use of idioms. Let me therefore start creatively, with a highly speculative metaphorical hypothesis: idioms are to linguists and language users what the Cheshire cat is to Alice. Idioms are peculiar linguistic constructions that have raised many eyebrows in linguistics and often confuse newcomers to a language. Indeed, the expression grin like a Cheshire cat is an idiom. More precisely, it is an idiomatic comparison whose motivation has become opaque: as the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) indicates, the phrase is of undetermined origin.