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The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, Second Editionby Christine Ammer
Synopses & Reviews
Bite the bullet, make no bones about it, take the cake. Expressions like these abound in English, yet they cant be understood literally based solely on the meanings of the words theyre made up of. The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms is a detailed exploration of these and other idiomatic expressions, including phrasal verbs such as kick back, proverbs such as too many cooks spoil the broth, interjections such as tough beans, and figures of speech such as dark horse and push up daisies. Among the surprises in store as readers peruse the pages of this book are the fact that the seemingly modern term person of color actually dates from the late 1700s; that mutual admiration society was coined by Henry David Thoreau; that in 18th-century Britain birthday suit referred to the clothes one wore on the kings birthday; and that the origins of on the up-and-up, put the kibosh on, and the whole nine yards are unknown. The first edition of the American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms was notable not only for its wealth of information but also for the perceptiveness and wit with which it provided cultural and historical context to its definitions. Now, fifteen years after the publication of that first edition, author Christine Ammer has extensively revised and expanded her original text to keep up both with historical scholarship and with ongoing changes in the English language. The result is an up-to-date dictionary that defines over 10,000 idiomatic expressions in greater detail than any other dictionary available today.
Fifteen years after the publication of the first edition of the American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms, author Christine Ammer has extensively updated and expanded her original text, making over 1500 revisions and adding hundreds of new entries (such as couch potato, elephant in the room, senior moment, and think outside the box) to keep up with the rapidly changing English language.
"Bite the bullet", " get on the stick", "make no bones about it", " take the cake". The American Heritage(R) Dictionary of Idioms covers almost 10,000 expressions. Its main fare is, of course, idioms - groups of two or more words that together mean something different from the literal meaning of the individual words. In addition, this book discusses verb phrases such as " act up", "freeze out", and " get down", figures of speech such as "dark horse" and "blind as a bat", interjections and formulas like "says who" and " tough beans", common proverbs like a "bird in the hand", and slang terms such as "buy the farm" and "push up daisies". Each entry is defined and has an example sentence showing the expression in context. Most entries offer an explanation of the expression's literal meaning or origin and include information about its first appearance in English.
The cat will never get your tongue once you have The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms. This book defines nearly 10,000 idioms — expressions consisting of two or more words whose combined meaning is different from the literal meaning of the individual words. Each entry has both a definition and a sentence showing the idiom used in context. Most entries offer an explanation of the idioms origin and indicate when the expression first appeared in English.
Senior moment. Think outside the box. Idioms like these can't be understood just from the words that make them up. The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms explores the meanings of idioms, including phrasal verbs such as kick back, proverbs such as too many cooks spoil the broth, interjections such as tough beans, and figures of speech such as elephant in the room. Since the publication of the first edition 15 years ago, author Christine Ammer has made extensive revisions that reflect new historical scholarship and changes in the English language. This second edition defines over 10,000 idiomatic expressions in greater detail than any other dictionary available today. English language learners will find this dictionary especially useful.
About the Author
Christine Ammer is the author of more than three dozen reference books, on subjects ranging from classical music to women's health. Her books on words and phrases include Facts on File Dictionary of Clichés; Seeing Red or Tickled Pink; Fighting Words from War, Rebellion, and Other Combative Capers; Southpaws and Sunday Punches; Cool Cats and Top Dogs; and Fruitcakes and Couch Potatoes. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
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