Clich s often enliven our writing and speech and give us food for thought. So a dictionary of such phrases is an excellent resource for word lovers. Each of the approximately 4000 A-to-Z entries in this updated and expanded second edition by Ammer (The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms) ranges from 30 to 200 words and contains a bit of etymology and information about usage. For example, readers learn that the true phrase behind the clich "the proof is in the pudding" is actually "the proof of the pudding is in the eating," an expression particularly used in Britain, where "pudding is more of a basic dish than it is to Americans." Among the hundreds of new clich s in this volume are "drum up," "body count," and "yada yada yada." The index and cross references help readers find phrases that may begin a bit differently than expected. Ideally, there would be a greater number of cross references, leading readers to synonymous turns of phrase, and the index entries would apply to individual words, not just phrases. What if, e.g., a reader were only able vaguely to recall something about something in the pudding? Bottom Line Despite the small imperfections, the book is inherently fascinating and an excellent place to look for old chestnuts galore. Of the few similar books this reviewer has seen, Ammer's is more up to date and authoritative, in part because of the Facts On File name. Public libraries wanting a book specifically on clich s (not just proverbs or sayings) should purchase; those already owning the first edition might pass, especially where budgets are tight. Manya Chylinksi, Boston Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.