Did you know that 'flavour of the month' originated in a marketing campaign in American ice-cream parlours in the 1940s, when a particular flavour would be specially promoted for a month at a time? And did you know that 'off the cuff' refers to the rather messy practice of writing impromptu notes on one's shirt cuff before speaking in public? The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms takes a fresh look at the idiomatic phrases and sayings that make English the rich and intriguing language that it is. This major new edition contains entries for over 5000 idioms, including 350 entirely new entries and over 500 new quotations. The entries are supported by a wealth of illustrative quotations from a wide range of sources and periods. For example: 'Rowling has not been asleep at the wheel in the three years since the last Potter novel, and I am pleased to report that she has not confused sheer length with inspiration.' - Guardian, 2003. 'I made the speech of a lifetime. I had them tearing up the seats and rolling in the aisles.' - P.G. Woodhouse, 1940. Many entries include boxed features which give more detailed background on the idiom in question. For example, did you know that 'taken aback' was adopted from nautical terminology that described a ship unable to move forward because of a strong headwind pressing its sails back against the mast? The text has been entirely redesigned so that it is both elegant and easy to use. Anyone interested in the colourful side of the English language will get hours of fun browsing from this fascinating and informative volume.