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The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms
     

The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms

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by Judith Siefring
 

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Did you know that 'flavour of the month' originated in a marketing campaign in American ice-cream parlours in the 1940s, when a particular flavour 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

Overview

Did you know that 'flavour of the month' originated in a marketing campaign in American ice-cream parlours in the 1940s, when a particular flavour 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. This vastly entertaining dictionary takes a fresh look at the idiomatic phrases and sayings that make English such a rich and intriguing language. A major new edition, it contains entries for over 5000 idioms, including 350 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 Programme, the biggest language research programme in the world. The entries are supported by a wealth of illustrative quotations from a wide range of sources and periods. For example: 'Rowling has not been asleep at the wheel in the three years since the last Potter novel, and I am pleased to report that she has not confused sheer length with inspiration.' - Guardian, 2003. 'I made the speech of a lifetime. I had them tearing up the seats and rolling in the aisles.' - P.G. Woodhouse, 1940. Many entries include boxed features which give more detailed background on the idiom in question. For example, did you know that 'taken aback' was adopted from nautical terminology, and described a ship unable to move forward because of a strong headwind pressing its sails back against the mast? The text has been entirely redesigned so that it is both elegant and easy to use. Anyone interested in the quirky side of the English language will have hours of fun browsing through this fascinating and informative volume.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Essentially, idioms are groups of words whose meanings differ from the literal, but they are also defined as phrases typical to a region, period, or group. Like the original from 1999, the second edition of this dictionary is both current and retrospective in covering these intriguing phrases. Containing over 5000 such sayings and proverbs (350 of them are new to this edition and over 500 are revised), it attempts to cover idioms from the entire English-speaking world. Each entry provides a full definition; explanatory notes on background and details about the origin, history, and usage; and illustrative quotations from a wide variety of sources such as newspapers, novels, travel guides, and teen magazines. As needed, the geography of the idiom is identified as "North American Slang" or "Australia and New Zealand," etc. The dictionary was updated using the findings of the English Reading Program, the ongoing research program of the Oxford English Dictionary. Bottom Line Attractive, highly perusable, and logically arranged, the dictionary is recommended for libraries serving teachers and students of all stripes, especially those in ESL programs. Anyone who is addicted to the richness of the English language or simply intrigued by the origin and meaning of an idiom like "teach your grandmother to suck eggs" will also relish this work. For a reference on American idioms only, The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms is still a good choice.-Paul D'Alessandro, Portland P.L., ME Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780191579530
Publisher:
OUP Oxford
Publication date:
11/10/2005
Series:
Oxford Quick Reference
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,245,507
File size:
2 MB

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Oxford Dictionary of Idioms (Oxford Paperback Reference Series) 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago