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Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase and Fable Hardcover – 2 Nov 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 17th edition (2 Nov. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304353817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304353811
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 18.2 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 547,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

If you like Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable and other word lovers' guides, you'll adore this. Adrian Room, the editor of recent editions of Brewer's, has gathered together over 8,000 words, names and phrases that "resonate in the collective memory of English-speaking people all over the world". It's a wonderful smorgasbord. The highs and lows of 20th-century culture are cheerfully ransacked for their gems. In a way, this book is a fascinating bite-by-bite history of the last century, with excursions into the 1800s and the beginning of the third millennium. (If you want to round out the picture, try The New Penguin Dictionary of Modern Quotations, which makes an interesting companion volume to this one.) The range of categories covered is almost endless, including Mathematics and mechanics, Play titles, Famous People, Alternative and New Age topics, and so many more. Slang, jargon, metaphors, catch phrases, quotations, sayings and slogans all take their bow, with fascinating "general entries" going into detail about instances of a theme such as Fakes, and "list entries" on topics such as Advertising Slogans of the 20th Century, Commercial Inventions, Programming Languages and String Quartets. What other book could explain "Jargonaut: a punning term for someone who uses an excessive amount of jargon"; the computer language Java; the origins of the phrase "Jaw-jaw"; the fact that the title of the film Jaws was a last-minute inspiration (it might have been called Leviathan Rising, or half a dozen other titles); the story of jazz-and all without turning a page? Open the book anywhere else and you'd have a similar range. It's a dream book for intellectual and cultural magpies, all written with the wit, learning and playfulness for which Brewer's is renowned. Dr Ebenezer Cobham Brewer (Blessings on his name) remains the presiding spirit, and there can be no greater compliment than that.--David Pickering

About the Author

Adrian Room is an established writer of reference books, mainly on the origins of words and names. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the English Place-Name Society and American Name Society. He was Senior Lecturer in Russian with the Ministry of Defence until 1984, when he took up full-time writing.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the bible for anyone interested in the development of the English language and origins of modern phrases. Entertaining, reliable, factual and illuminating. It covers terms and sayings that have developed in the later 20th Century and early 21st Centuries - if you want earlier, just go for Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable. Great for quizzes and invaluable for sorting out arguments on the true facts behind particular word and phrase origins.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars great gift! 15 Aug. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book as a gift for my uncle and he really enjoyed it! Very clever and interesting find. Great gift for someone who has everything.
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