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Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations

Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations

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by Ned Sherrin

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Now, in 'The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations, ' noted writer and satirist Ned Sherrin has gathered nearly 5,000 quotations in a rollicking collection dawn form an international cast of humorists and pundits.


Now, in 'The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations, ' noted writer and satirist Ned Sherrin has gathered nearly 5,000 quotations in a rollicking collection dawn form an international cast of humorists and pundits.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
We all admire those clever minds with the cunning ability to spit witty repartee at a moment's notice. The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations compiles a vast collection of such noted quotes -- some infamous, some obscure -- into one accessible guide, alphabetized by subject, from Acting to Youth, and by source, from Bud Abbott to Jerry Zucker. You'll leaf through and declare, "I wish I had said that!" on more than one occasion.

From contemporary voices like Dorothy Parker, P. J. O'Rourke, and Woody Allen to canonical writers like Charles Dickens and Evelyn Waugh to legends like Mae West and Bob Hope, the approximately 5,000 quotes are fodder for amusement and impetus to sharpen one's own verbal skills. While some could be considered odd choices that don't necessarily fit the humor bill, most inspire at least a subtle smirk, such as a movie studio's official comment on Fred Astaire ("Can't act. Slightly bald. Also dances") and Tony Curtis's response when asked what it was like to kiss Marilyn Monroe ("It's like kissing Hitler").

Still, this dense reference guide packs in the showstoppers (Jack Warner on hearing that Ronald Reagan was seeking nomination as governor of California: "No, no. Jimmy Stewart for governor -- Ronald Reagan for his best friend") and the unforgettables ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the war room").

This reference should be a requirement on the bookshelf of every writer, reader, and lover of the history of the human race. (Karen Mancuso)

Library Journal
Perhaps no other work of reference has quite the same capacity as has the quotation book of making readers forget the original object of their search. A single page yields an abundance of distracting brilliancies, witticisms, and amazingly silly things to keep one going for hours. This omnivorous accumulation of roughly 5000 quotations is a triumph of browsing and a labor of love. Sherrin, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Loose Ends, has plenty of able predecessors in this crowded anthology pasture, but few are dedicated exclusively to observations of humorous bent. The names are famous and not so famous as quipstersMark Twain, Tom Stoppard, Stephen Leacock, Enrico Fermi, and Louis XIV, to name a fewand few of the selections are thigh-slappingly funny, but they do divert pleasingly. Recommended for quotation book collections.A.J. Anderson, GSLIS, Simmons Coll., Boston Ragsdale, Lyn. Vital Statistics on the Presidency: Washington to Clinton.
School Library Journal
YAOne liners, insults, puns, and all manner of clever, witty, and hilariously funny quotes are included in this book. It's a great source for public speakers, writers, trivia buffs, browsers, and anyone who loves a laugh. Who, what, and when information is provided for each entry as well as a keyword and an author index. The 5,000 quotes cover a wide range of themes and time periods.
From the Publisher
"From an international group of writers, humorists, actors, and public figures, Sherrin has collected almost 6000 quotes, some witty puns and one-liners and some possibly insulting. Along with traditional favorites such as Mark Twain, Mae West, and Shakespeare, this new edition updates the 1996 edition with more contemporary figures, such as Madonna, Jay Leno, and Mick Jagger.... Covering a wide range of themes, authors, and time periods, this source is excellent for public speakers, writers, trivia buffs, and those who love to laugh. Highly recommended."—Library Journal "Thanks go to Ned Sherin, the BBC satirist, for researching and compiling the lines that get smiles and some belly laughs."—Gary Stevens, WCBS Radio "Passes the test...The discovery of lines that are simply falling-down hilarious."—Seattle Times

"For those who are often looking for quality quotations, this book is sure to be a hit. Because it covers such a wide range of personalities, from historical to modern and from subtle to outrageous, this book will appeal to a wide audience. It will be a welcome addition to many public libraries."—American Reference Book Annual 2002

"The wit across the 512 pages here is sourced and provided context by category and author, a treasure for speaker, academic, or random reader."—The Virginian-Pilot "Need a witty quote to use in a speech or to impress a friend? The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations is a good place to start."—Syracuse Post-Standard

"The entire work is quite thorough."—Booklist

Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
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Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Ned Sherrin CBE was presenter of BBC Radio 4's Loose Ends. Producer and director of the ground-breaking 1960s satire TV show That Was the Week that Was, and producer of a number of films, including The Virgin Soldiers (1968) and Up Pompeii (1971), he also wrote extensively for stage and screen. He directed many theatre productions such as Side by Side by Sondheim and Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell. He compiled a number of anthologies, including Cutting Edge, Theatrical Anecdotes, and Ned Sherrin in his Anecdotage. Ned Sherrin died in October 2007.

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Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Bendwriter More than 1 year ago
I bought this to locate some humorous quotes for a paper I was writing. I found it very hard to read, and I didn't find many of the quotes to be all that funny. For me at least, it was not anything I could use or enjoy, and I ended up returning it to the store.