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Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 19th Edition Hardcover – 31 Aug 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1568 pages
  • Publisher: Chambers; 19th Revised edition edition (31 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0550102450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0550102454
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 5.8 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 307,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

An idiosyncratic adventure, pulling you in and saying: "this is, in fact, not what you were

looking for; but it's much more interesting."

(Terry Pratchett)

Of all the dictionaries in the world [Brewer's] is the most like a treasure-hunt, where one phrase leads to another, and that to a third, and before you know what's happened, it's time for lunch. (Philip Pullman)

Brewer's head-words are so enticing and his definitions so eloquent that it's impossible to stop at one. An addiction may develop. (Carol Rumens, The Independent)

'By judicious updating and editing and by dint of its elegant design and printing, this latest edition retains as strong a place in its reference market niche as it ever did; long may that continue.'

(Stuart James, Past Editor, Reference Reviews, and formerly University Librarian, University of Paisley, UK)

Off each page of Brewer's leaps some titbit of cultural or linguistic miscellany, much of which this reader didn't even know that he didn't know. Brewer's is great for unknown unknowns and gives the user a serendipitous adventure. (The Economist)

It's the sense of alphabetical happenstance that so enchants the reader today. Open the book anywhere and find a charming list of of incongruous items.

Irresistible.

(The Lady)

An excellent present for the person who has everything... (The Oldie)

It encourages browsing for the sheer pleasure of it. (Times Literary Supplement)

An essential part of a working library. (Times Literary Supplement)

Book Description

Take the scenic route to knowledge.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sally A Reid on 11 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover
The book arrived quickly and well packed. Even though hardback it is not too heavy.
It is full of interesting information and facts to keep all ages enthralled. I bought it for my 60 yr
old brother but wish I had got it or myself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Doc W on 12 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have a friend or relative who buries themselves in cryptic or general knowledge crosswords then this book is a fantastic present.

The name is slightly misleading as it covers a much wider range of information that just phrase and fable and I know that the name has put a couple of people off until they have opened it and been lost in interesting information for half an hour at a time! The 19th edition includes information on crowdsourcing and cyberpunks which feature in very few fables I have heard!

It contains a wide range of useful information and backgrounds and it is almost impossible to go into for a single piece of information without getting distracted by something else that seems interesting and spending time reading well written and interesting information on a subject that you didn't even know you were interested in.

A strong recommendation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Webb on 5 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had never heard of Brewers dictionaries, but came across the name while writing a review for another work. A little research revealed this, (and other volumes which I eventually got from AbeBooks), and so I took the plunge. The book is a mine of information, as the description on its page explains, stuff that is available elsewhere, but not usually collected for convenience. I believe it will be useful to me for years to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By thewallet on 8 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have had a copies since the 1960's, when I was first introduced to this must have book.
As an Hotelier/Publican it solved many a question and stopped several arguments.
I gave this copy to a colleague of mine, who was suitably impressed.
No one can consider themselves civilised unless they have a copy on their bookshelves.
The Wallet.
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Format: Hardcover
While relaxing and reading my evening repertoire of the 1 million best books, I periodically, crossed a person a place or phrase that somehow missed my reading repertoire. When this happens I reach for my copy of "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable."

Finding what I'm looking for, I'm happy to know that I usually got it right. Looking up such phrases as "Cracker Barrel philosophy", I cannot help glance at "cracked pots last the longest." Once in a while I can stomp Brewer"s with such phrases as " cover her face mine eyes dazzle she died young."

For people who suggest that you can find just about anything on the net that is true. However the net does not have a tactile feel and easy index; what's more is having to trust his credibility.

So have hours, days, months, years, looking up your favorite phrase and fable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Colin P on 7 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just a wonderful source of information, including much that you didn't realise you wanted to know.
Great for resolving arguments and producing "factoids" to show how clever you are.
Can be dipped into at any time for an enjoyable and informative read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a Christmas present for a friend, it has been very much enjoyed, it it fun whilst also being educational and so much better to have a 'real' book to put down and pick up as and when you want to. Great talking point as well. Anything that is 'knowledge', fun and a talking point just has to be good. And..........a real Book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this book for my mother for her birthday as she likes to have various reference books to hand so she can do her crosswords. Within a couple of hours of opening her present she had solved 2 clues to her crossword so we were both very impressed and happy!
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