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Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations (Oxford Paperback Reference) [Paperback]

Ned Sherrin
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

14 Dec 2012 Oxford Paperback Reference
This hilarious collection of humorous quotations, full of wisecracks and wit, snappy comments and inspired fantasy, has been specially compiled by the late broadcaster and raconteur Ned Sherrin, with a foreword by leading British satirist, Alistair Beaton. Now packed with even more quotes and covering more subjects than before, from Weddings to the Supernatural, Headlines to Australia. Find the best lines from your favourite jokesters and wordsmiths, add that extra something to a speech or presentation, or just enjoy a good laugh.

'A chair is a piece of furniture. I am not a chair because no one has ever sat on me.' Ann Widdecombe on the announcement that Parliamentary language will now be gender-neutral

'No wonder Bob Geldof is such an expert on famine. He's been feeding off 'I don't like Mondays' for 30 years.' Russell Brand

On deciding to run for governor of California: 'The most difficult decision I've ever made in my entire life, except for the one in 1978 when I decided to get a bikini wax.' Arnold Schwarzenegger

'Wanting to know an author because you like his work is like wanting to know a duck because you like pâté.' Margaret Atwood

'I am so sorry. We have to stop there. I have just come to the end of my personality.' Quentin Crisp, closing down an interview

Frequently Bought Together

Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations (Oxford Paperback Reference) + Oxford Dictionary of Quotations + The Funniest Thing You Never Said: The Ultimate Collection of Humorous Quotations
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 4 edition (14 Dec 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199570035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199570034
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 12.5 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


The ultimate guide to the sharpest, wryest and wittiest quips, put-downs and one-liners (Romford Recorder)

However you like your humour, there will be something here for you and I defy you to leaf through it and find nothing to bring a smile to the lips. (Herts Advertiser)

Does not disappoint... a brilliant manual for writers, after-dinner speakers and best men (South Wales Evening Post)

As always this companion instructs through laughter (Contemporary Review)

Buy the book (Beachcomber, Daily Express)

About the Author

Ned Sherrin CBE was presenter of BBC Radio 4's

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Reference Book ! 25 Aug 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a copy writer I have reached for this book over and over again, to help in a wide variety of tasks.The layout is excellent and the wealth of categories means a suitable quote can be easily found, whatever the circumstances.
Unfortunately however my original copy was 'appropriated' and I have been seeking a replacement ever since.I was therefore delighted to find this hardback copy at Amazon which, for the princely sum of 1 pence, I could hardly refuse to buy.

Thank you Ned Sherrin, and thank you Amazon !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Print too small 3 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is difficult to read, the print is small and not a good black. Not what I was expecting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hours of fun.

The quotations are ordered thematically + indexed both by author and keywords, which I found very useful.
The page size and font used are large enough and thus very readable.
I was very happy with the inclusion of short synopsis of the author and context/place of the quotation.

As I mentioned in my other reviews of similar books - it's bound to have some quotations that will make you laugh out loud, some less and some will make you raise an eyebrow, but overall I think it's great.

As with other compilations I found it a bit not in place to include complete poems as quotations, however in comparison to other similar books I've ordered and reviewed this one seems to be the best researched and presented.

The downside of this compilation is that although it's a 2008 edition, the first one was published in 1995, and there's less contemporary stuff. You won't find here memorable quotations from big TV hits like Father Ted, Absolutely Fabulous, Only Fools & Horses, Blackadder, The Simpsons, Vicar of Dibely and such, as are thankfully presented in the very funny but poorly researched The Funniest Thing You Never Said: The Ultimate Collection of Humorous Quotations.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed 25 Sep 2011
I was given this book and was looking forward to leisurely reading through 536 pages of entertainment and amusement. What a disappointment.

In fairness, and as other reviewers have noted, it pretty much does what it says on the cover - but please note use of the word "Humorous", not "witty" or "funny", and that (in my humble opinion) is where the problem lies.

There's no doubt the book is well crafted - its subject matter and reference data are well compiled and detailed. It's the sort of book that a nasal bore or a librarian would put together...too much focus on the reference and indices (c200 pages) and not enough on the content (c300 pages).

There are other issues that irked me, for example the number of song lyrics, which I really don't consider as quotations. So overall, I felt that whilst many of the quotations are clever or humorous, they're not necessarily funny.

So I ask the question, What is the point of this Dictionary? If I want to be entertained, I want it to be funny, not a series of cleverly constructed words, and there are funnier and more concise books out there, doing the job much better than this.

So, potential readers, my copy (Hardback) is off to the Charity Shop.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT'S AN ODD JOB, MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH....... 16 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase said Moliere according to "The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations". It is also an odd (and difficult) job to determine and classify what makes people laugh, or what they find titillating, and mildly amusing. But at the end of the day (drat it, I swore that I would never use that awful expression), humour is in the eye of the beholder and something that seems amusing to one person may seem downright unfunny to another. Such is the case with this book, as there were some entries that for the life of me I failed to see anything remotely comical, humorous, funny or whatever, in them whatsoever, but obviously someone on the 'compilation panel' did find amusement.

As it would imply, this work is set out Theme-wise in alphabetical order, with an Author and a keyword alphabetical index at the rear, both of which are very useful for reference purposes.

It is never going to compete for belly-laughs with the anecdotal and quotation works of Des MacHale, Rosemarie Jarski, and others, but it doesn't endeavour to. It is a very comprehensive (over 500 pages) collection and classification of thousands of quotations, gathered across the broad spectrum of literature, theatre, poetry, songs, politics, the media, and more. Whilst containing many of the more famous witticisms from the likes of Dorothy Parker, Woody Allen, W C Fields, Oscar Wilde, and Mencken, it also contains much more material that doesn't see the light of day too often and is interesting and refreshing to absorb.

It is a reference work of considerable merit, that will give many years (lifetime) of good service. It is not have to be read through in haste but picked up now and again or referred to when seeking a specific topic, maybe for inclusion into a speech, letter, or Amazon review:-

"Good taste and humour...are a contradiction in terms, like a chaste whore." (Malcolm Muggeridge)
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