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Oxford Dictionary of English Idiomsby John Ayto
Synopses & Reviews
Did you know that 'flavor of the month' originated in a marketing campaign in American ice-cream parlors in the 1940s, when a particular flavor would be specially promoted for a month at a time? And did you know that 'off the cuff' refers to the rather messy practice of writing impromptu notes on one's shirt cuff before speaking in public? These and many more idioms are explained and put into context in this second edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Idioms.
The volume takes a fresh look at the idiomatic phrases and sayings that make English the rich and intriguing language that it is. This major new edition contains entries for over 5000 idioms, including 350 entirely new entries and over 500 new quotations.
The text has been updated to include many new idioms using the findings of the Oxford English Reading Program, the biggest language research program in the world. The entries are supported by a wealth of illustrative quotations from a wide range of sources and periods and the text has been entirely redesigned so that it is both elegant and easy to use. Anyone interested in the colorful side of the English language will get hours of fun browsing this fascinating and informative volume.
The Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms offers a fresh look at the idiomatic phrases and sayings that make English the rich language that it is. The third edition contains entries for over 6,000 idioms, including 700 entirely new entries, based on Oxford's language monitoring programs and the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. These include a range of idioms such as "the elephant in the corner," "go figure," "step up to the plate," "a walk in the park," and "win ugly." Many entries include more detailed background on the idiom in question. For example, did you know that 'taken aback' was adopted from nautical terminology that described a ship unable to move forward because of a strong headwind pressing its sails back against the mast?
The book lists national variants, so we learn that while in America they say "all over the map," in Britain they say "all over the shop." This edition also features a greatly increased number of cross-references, making it ideal for quick reference. Anyone interested in the colorful side of the English language will have hours of fun browsing this fascinating and informative volume.
About the Author
John Ayto is an experienced lexicographer and author of many language titles.
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