More than 4,000 cliches compiled in one fun, easy-to-use guide.
Praise for the previous hardcover edition:
"...an excellent resource for word lovers...inherently fascinating and an excellent place to look for old chestnuts galore..." Library Journal
The Facts On File Dictionary of Cliches, Third Edition is the largest, most comprehensive, and most entertaining reference of its kind. Featuring hundreds of new cliches, this updated and expanded edition explains the meanings and origins of more than 4,000 cliches and common expressions. Each entry includes the meaning of the cliche or expression, its origin and early uses, its historical development, and its present-day usage. This fully indexed and cross-referenced resource is essential for students, writers, and anyone seeking the gift of gab.
New entries include:
-"Don't go there"
-"Flavor of the month"
-"Not so much"
-"Show me the money"
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Christine Ammer is the author of more than three dozen popular reference books on subjects ranging from classical music to women's health. For the past 20 years, she has concentrated on language. Her other books on words and phrases include The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms; Cool Cats, Top Dogs, and Other Beastly Expressions; Fighting Words: From War, Rebellion, and Other Combative Capers; and Fruitcakes and Couch Potatoes and Other Delicious Expressions. She also writes a column on terms from military history for Military History Quarterly. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.From Booklist:
Christine Ammer acknowledges in the preface to this second edition of her dictionary of cliches that it may seem oxymoronic for her to speak of updating a dictionary of cliches by adding new cliches. But of course every cliche is new at some blurry point along a time line, just as others gradually fall out of favor. Thus, as a linguist whose concern is current usage, Ammer has not only added new ones (new in the sense of having recently become established as cliches) but she has culled and discarded many older cliches--such as "alas and alack" and "blot one's copybook"--that appeared in the first edition but that are rarely seen or heard nowadays.
Taking the long view of the historian, Ammer regards a collection such as hers as giving form to "the particularity of an era's attitude." A pointed example is drawn from the testimony of a young soldier pressed by her comrades to participate in harassment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Her response, when agreeing to join in, was "OK. Whatever." This example, along with several others, appears in the entry for whatever, which Ammer says is "one of the most recent additions to clichedom," noting, too, that it is used very loosely. Her own definition--"in any case; anything goes; as you wish"--is certainly adequate, though it hardly accounts for the word being sometimes "irksome, and even incendiary, as well as nonchalant." In this connection, she adduces the actor Russell Crowe's assault on a hotel clerk who uttered the word with a greater measure of disrespect than Crowe thought appropriate. (It's an absolute delight to find such matters brought up in discussing meaning and usage.) The thoroughness of this entry is typical of the whole, and the same thoroughness may be found in the indexing, which permits both phrasal and keyword searches. Recommended for all libraries wanting to keep their collection of English-language resources current. Harold Cordry
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