Oxford Dictionary of Phrase, Saying, and Quotation


Sometimes a good quote will do, such as "A man in love is incomplete until he has married. Then he's finished" (Zsa Zsa Gabor). Or perhaps "Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures" (Samuel Johnson). Other times, a proverb seems just right, such as ""wedlock is a padlock" or "marriages are made in heaven" or "marry in haste, repent at leisure." Now, in The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase, Saying, and Quotation, readers and writers have over 10,000 quotations, proverbs, and phrases, in one convenient ...

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Sometimes a good quote will do, such as "A man in love is incomplete until he has married. Then he's finished" (Zsa Zsa Gabor). Or perhaps "Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures" (Samuel Johnson). Other times, a proverb seems just right, such as ""wedlock is a padlock" or "marriages are made in heaven" or "marry in haste, repent at leisure." Now, in The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase, Saying, and Quotation, readers and writers have over 10,000 quotations, proverbs, and phrases, in one convenient volume, the only such reference book available.
The Dictionary covers over 350 themes, providing a wonderfully diverse range of topics, including actors and acting, animals, the arts, bores and boredom, elections, food and drink, kissing, madness, the past, schools, science, taxes, virtue, the weather, and youth. Thus, under Absence, we find quotations such as "The more he looked inside the more Piglet wasn't there" (A.A. Milne), proverbs "absence makes the heart grow fonder," and phrases "gone with the wind." Explanatory notes are given wherever needed, and cross-references point the reader to other relevant themes in the volume. Finally, readers can also consult two different indexes, one organized by author and one by keyword.
Whether you are interested in ambition or conscience, madness or marriage, or business or politics, you will find here the quotation, proverb, or phrase that suits your needs. The Dictionary of Phrase, Saying, and Quotation belongs on the reference shelf of writers, public speakers, occasional toast givers, and everyone else who enjoys that which they've "often thought but never so well expressed."

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These two dictionaries of quotations not only serve as excellent examples of the genre but also continue the strong tradition of Oxford dictionaries generally. Modern Quotations features more than 5000 quotations from the 20th and 21st centuries by figures from around the globe. Numerous new quotations have been added to this second edition, taken from the likes of George W. Bush, Tom Brokaw, Rudolph Giuliani, Al Gore, and many other political, cultural, and literary figures who left their mark on the past decade (the first edition was published in 1993). The main entries are arranged by the author's name, but several pages of special categories (such as "Film Lines" and "Political Sayings") are sprinkled throughout like little gems for the reader to find. Phrase, Saying, & Quotation contains over 12,000 entries, 20 percent of which are new to this second edition (the first came out in 1997). Including not only quotations but also sayings, proverbs, and phrases (e.g., "a tower of strength" and "the one that got away"), the entries are arranged by theme so that readers can easily locate phrases and sayings that apply to a particular topic, emotion, or idea. Since both of these excellent updates contain extensive key-word indexes, they are very easy to use. This is not the first Oxford work for either editor. Knowles, managing editor of Oxford Quotations Dictionaries, has edited such works as The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and coedited the first edition of Phrase, Saying, & Quotation with Ratcliffe, associate editor of Oxford Quotations Dictionaries and editor of The Oxford Dictionary of Thematic Quotations, among other quotations titles. Their experience is certainly evident here; they have both done an excellent job of sorting through what must have been mountains of phrases and sayings to bring readers the best of the best.-Manya S. Chylinski, Ernst & Young Ctr. for Business Knowledge, Boston Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-There's a useful trove of material in Modern Quotations, an alphabetically arranged volume. A thematic index expands the keyword index, and separate boxed categories highlight topics such as advertising, political slogans, last words, epitaphs, film lines, and misquotations. A telegrams category suggests that Oxford may one day enshrine memorable e-mail. "Virgin is the possibility of good times" is an ambiguous comment, if Richard Branson, "English businessman," is not known to readers as the founder of Virgin Airways. Not all unfamiliar words are found in the spotty glossary. As with most collections, individuals will find a few favorite and/or notable quotations missing but some of these ("Loose lips sink ships") pop up in Phrase. Here the arrangement is by topic, then by proverbs/sayings, phrases, and quotations. Sources come from every age (though a preponderance are modern), and a wider net seems to have caught a few more non-Western voices (the Koran, Bhagavad Gita, etc.). The glossary is more helpful, and the historical dimension invaluable. There's more here than in Modern Quotations, and more to like; the topics list alone offers almost 10 times the number of themes. For sheer inclusiveness, utility, and fascination, Phrase is the one to buy. As Dorothy L. Sayers said: "I always have a quotation for everything-it saves original thinking."-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Compiles over 10,000 quotations, proverbs, and phrases on over 350 themes, among them actors and acting, bores and boredom, elections, food and drink, kissing, madness, schools, taxes, the weather, and youth. Many are attributed, with reference to particular works, while others merely explain the meaning and sometimes the background. For example, a Carthaginian peace is a peace settlement that imposes very severe terms of the defeated side, and refers to the ultimate destruction of Carthage by Rome in the Punic Wars. A keyword index presents abbreviated versions to facilitate finding a particular, perhaps half remembered, quotation. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641643637
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 720
  • Product dimensions: 6.56 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Editor:
Elizabeth Knowles is Managing Editor of the Quotation dictionaries group at Oxford University Press.

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Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Contents; List of Abbreviations; Indexes (arranged by keyword and by author)

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