Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable


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Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable by Elizabeth Knowles

Here is a wealth of background information on common phrases and allusions, encompassing everything from "rebel without a cause" and "Marlboro Man" to "The Twelve Labors of Hercules."

Drawing on Oxford's unrivalled bank of language and quotation on-line resources, this highly browsable potpourri of allusive terms includes entries from a broad range of topics, including classical mythology, history, religion, folk customs, superstitions, science and technology, philosophy, and popular culture. Unlike the major competing volume, the Dictionary contains more entries, with a wider range of reference and more lucid explanations. Indeed, the 20,000 entries are rich with information, going beyond a simple identification to include colorful details, such as word origins and illustrative quotations. We learn, for instance, not only that "The Land of the Rising Sun" refers to Japan, but also that the phrase is a translation of Japanese Nippon (nichi "the sun" and pon "the source"). We also learn that "Leatherneck" refers to the leather lining inside the collar of a marine's uniform. There are special boxes for topics such as Days of the Week and Last Words (from Goethe's "More light" to Robert E. Lee's "Strike the tent"). The volume also features thousands of brief biographies, both real and fictional, from Old Mother Hubbard to Gypsy Rose Lee, and a thematic index for easy use. And there are numerous cross-references throughout the book.

From "Barbie Doll" to "the Big Bang Theory," "Every Dog has His Day," and "Seven-League Boots," The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable is a kaleidoscopic reference work on the thousands of colorful words and phrases we use every day.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198609810
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 11/01/2005
Edition description: REV
Pages: 806
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Knowles

Elizabeth Knowles, Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, is a historical lexicographer who worked on the 4th edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Her other editorial credits include What They Didn't Say: a Book of Misquotations (2006) and How to Read a Word (2010). She contributed to The History of Oxford University Press, and is currently working on a study of quotations in the English language for Oxford University Press.

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