The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable [NOOK Book]


Who? What? Where? Why? Enquire within for a wealth of fascinating and authoritative information on the stories behind words, names, and sayings. - ;What is a ham-and-egger?
What are Anglo-Saxon attitudes?
Who or what is liable to jump the shark?
Who first tried to nail jelly to the wall?

The answers to these and many more questions are in ...
See more details below
The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.59 price
(Save 30%)$17.99 List Price


Who? What? Where? Why? Enquire within for a wealth of fascinating and authoritative information on the stories behind words, names, and sayings. - ;What is a ham-and-egger?
What are Anglo-Saxon attitudes?
Who or what is liable to jump the shark?
Who first tried to nail jelly to the wall?

The answers to these and many more questions are in this fascinating book. Here in one volume you can track down the stories behind the names and sayings you meet, whether in classic literature or today's news. Drawing on Oxford's unrivalled bank of reference and language online resources, this dictionary covers classical and other mythologies, history, religion, folk customs, superstitions, science and technology, philosophy, and popular culture. Extensive cross referencing makes it easy to
trace specific information, while every page points to further paths to explore. A fascinating slice of cultural history, and a browser's delight from start to finish.

What is the fog of war?
Who first wanted to spend more time with one's family?
When was the Dreamtime?
How long since the first cry of Women and children first?
Where might you find dark matter?
Would you want the Midas touch?
Should you worry about grey goo? -
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This revised and updated resource maintains the 2000 original edition's chief strengths: the coverage of a huge variety of terms and Oxford's deep etymological scholarship. Editor and historical lexicographer Knowles (publishing manager, Oxford Quotations Dictionaries) and his staff incorporate two main changes: first, new entries such as "9/11," "Sunni Triangle," and "elephant in the room," as well as entries emphasizing figurative language from literary sources, e.g., "price of admiralty," and second, a streamlined presentation through the removal of usage quotations, 50 boxed, and some biographical entries. These changes keep this A-to-Z resource in a unique place between traditional etymology dictionary and one-volume encyclopedia. The entry for "Basque," for example, adds the French background for the name. Similarly, the definition for "Camp David" identifies "David" as President Eisenhower's grandson. Most definitions are a few sentences long and include no pronunciation guide, grammatical discussion, or suggestions for further reading. Despite the title, nonliterary phrases like the nicknames for each U.S. state, many theological terms, and some scientific terms are also included. Bottom Line Oxford's broad scope reflects its competition with publishers of the well-known Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, last published in the United Kingdom in its 17th edition by Orion in 2005. The strength of Oxford's resource remains the etymology incorporated into the entries. Recommended for public and academic libraries, particularly those that did not purchase the first edition.-Marianne Orme, Des Plaines P.L., IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Oxford offers its competition to Brewer's, one of the great, but lesser-known reference books. The Oxford boasts 20,000 cross- referenced entries covering phrase, fable, and famous figures and places. Entries are international in scope from , a Hindu ceremonial procession to , a type of Swiss Alpine melody, to , a country described by the ancient Greek explorer Pytheas. An interesting feature is an index of special lists that include the apostles of different countries, Henry VIII's queens, Jewish calendar months, plagues of Egypt, and an interesting idea, the last words of famous people, such as Oscar Wilde's: "One of us must go." Lacks pronunciation of entries. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher

"A highly useful tool."--Booklist

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780191578564
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, UK
  • Publication date: 10/12/2006
  • Series: Oxford Paperback Reference
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Sales rank: 786,390
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Knowles is Managing Editor of the Oxford Ruotations Dictionaries. She is also the editor of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and The Oxford Dictionary of New Words, among other works.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Examples of headwords are:

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)