Oxford Dictionary of Allusions / Edition 2

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Overview


Allusions form a colourful extension to the English language, drawing on our collective knowledge of literature, mythology, and the Bible to give us a literary shorthand for describing people, places, and events. So a miser is a Scrooge, a strong man is a Samson or a Hercules, a beautiful woman is a Venus or a modern-day Helen of Troy- -we can suffer like Sisyphus, fail like Canute, or linger like the smile of the Cheshire Cat.

This reference work explains the meanings of the allusions in use in modern English, from Abaddon to Zorro, Tartarus to Tarzan, and Rubens to Rambo. Quotations from a range of authors and sources are included at most entries to illustrate usage--anywhere from Thomas Hardy to Ben Elton, Charles Dickens to Bridget Jones's Diary. This second edition includes completely up-to-date allusions--from Gollum to Kofi Annan--and a handy A-Z order has been adopted for extra ease of reference and usability.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198609193
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/31/2005
  • Series: Oxford Paperback Reference Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Delahunty is a dictionary editor who has worked on many highly regarded reference volumes. He, Sheile Dignen and Penelope Stock are freelance lexicographers.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2010

    Excellent Resource

    This small dictionary provides a truly comprehensive list of allusions with plenty of examples. Allusions range from the Bible to 80's movies, with plenty of obscure novels thrown into the bunch. The alphabetization is a bit odd, but the lists in the back organized by subject, e.g. Female Beauty, is both useful if you're looking for an allusion and amusing, given some of the juxtapositions. I highly recommend this resource for any writer or just anyone bewildered by authors' off-hand references. It's especially useful for 19th century fiction and any other authors given to Greek mythology or obscure Bible texts. I certainly find it extremely useful.

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