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A Dictionary of Catch Phrases: British and American from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day Paperback – 4 Dec 1986

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A Dictionary of Catch Phrases: British and American from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day + The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms (4,000+ Idioms) (Penguin Reference Books)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (4 Dec. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 041505916X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415059169
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 2.4 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 458,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Doc Barbara TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 May 2012
Format: Paperback
Eric Partridge has a masterly knowledge of sub-standard English and this book is a major collection of catch-phrases. They are arranged in alphabetical order with no index and so the large book is all meat. Partridge does not shun the naughty or indecent expression although no-one would argue that the book is fully up-to-date. Each term has definitions and attributions (sometimes spoken, sometimes literary) and frequently a learned but amusing discussion about these. "I'll be a monkey's uncle" is, according to the author, often preceded by well-expressed astonishment and comes from Canada via USA to Australia. I suppose there is a pleasantly old-fashioned feel to the book but I love it for its knowledge and sheer fun value!
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By soul man on 22 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I recently bought a copy of this, and I regret to say it was a complete waste of money. My only consolation is that it was bought from a charity shop, so at least the money went to a good cause. It's actually mostly a dictionary of phrases and expressions, which aren't, by any stretch of the imagination, catch phrases. The compiler seems to have had little knowledge of, or interest in, contemporary popular culture, so, among the many catch phrases which DON'T appear are, for example, "You cannot be serious!", "That's all, folks!", "Time for bed, said Zebedee." and "I'm Julian and this is my friend Sandy.". Sloppy laziness is also shown by the reference to the title of the Beatles' film as 'Long Day's Night', and not 'A Hard Day's Night'. There's a good dictionary of catch phrases waiting to be researched and compiled, but this, unfortunately for my wallet, isn't it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A page turner 18 May 2008
By Words&Music - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perhaps most readers don't think of a "Dictionary" as a page turner, but this volume should come w/ a warning: if you open this during some sort of serious scholarly pursuit, you WILL be distracted. As an editor, Paul Bell has picked up not merely where Eric Partridge left off, but w/ the same lively tone that Partridge is famous for. Eric Partridge must surely have been the most delightful of dinner guests, w/ stories and quotes to astonish and delight for hours. This book fills something of the same purpose. It has voice! Even if you have Partridge's Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional Usage (a book you cannot put down after looking up just one thing!) this is a fine addition to any library. "Slang etc." has many of these catchphrases, but in this volume, given separately, it's easier to chase down some link or thought or phrase. As ever, Partridge's Dictionaries are scrupulous about dating their entries and citing the source. That this lists both British and American together also differentiates it from the "Dictionary of Slang." This book should be a must-have reference book for any writer, if only to remind you of the swath and vivacity of expression. And, it's a wonderful tool for procrastination.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Useful for advanced learners of English as a 2nd language 1 Oct. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Typical Partridge : many translations of filmscripts into Spanish, TV soaps, etc, would have been better if they had consulted this one. Americans might find treatment of US catch phrases, or even their definition, irritating, as the basic point of view is British, albeit open-minded.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 4 Dec. 2014
By Orsola M. Charette - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like words this is a fun book to have
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
General Poor Quality 23 Jan. 2014
By E. J. Alexander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book may have the information it claims to have but it is so poorly designed and executed that it makes the book just about useless. The copy I received has print so small that it is uncomfortable to read. The quality of the paper and the printing allows for a blurred appearance in the copy. A general disappointment all round.
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