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Dictionary of Cliches Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jan 1991

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Dictionary of Cliches
  • +
  • The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms (4,000+ Idioms) (Penguin Reference Books)
  • +
  • The Penguin Dictionary of Proverbs (Penguin Reference Books)
Total price: £28.38
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books Inc.; Reprint edition (1 Jan. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345338146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345338143
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Inside Flap

"The best kind of reference book--one that amuses as it instructs. I fell for it hook, line, and sinker."
CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALERR
IN A NUTSHELL, here's a terrific A TO Z listing of the meanings and origins of over 2,000 common or particularly interesting cliches for everyone who delights in the pleasure of words.

From the Back Cover

The Dictionary of Cliches offers the most thorough treatment yet published of all those trite but apt sayings we use all the time but rarely stop to consider.


Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nice book - but not really about clichés in the true sense of the word!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A very useful book that will help me weed out cliches that i wasn't aware of.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Not as informative as l thought.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dear _______:
It was nice to hear from you. Please do not worry that your "English is not perfect" -- you should see how bad my Japanese is! (I don't know any.)
But, for better or worse, I'm actually something of a writer. But maybe you will know someone who can help you with the more difficult words. It's actually a bit hard for me to write the "smaller" words now that I have written so much for so long -- I actually use a thesaurus "backwards"; sometimes it's hard for me to think of a synonym for a "big word" that I tend to "think in" most of the time, so I have to "look up the smaller one."
GOOD "QUICK TIPS" FOR LEARNING ENGLISH
Sometimes I even resort to using a "Cross-Word Dictionary." They are better than one might think!
THERE IS ACTUALLY A "CODE" TO ENGLISH that you can kind of "break" if you read a book that breaks the language down to the Greek and Latin roots, prefixes and suffixes. Like "pro-" for example, means "moving forward," so: promotion = to move forward with a job or a product proponent = a person trying to see some ideas move forward propose = when a person brings some idea up that he/she would like to move forward program = an agenda you would like to see move forward provoke = to try to move forward an idea or cause by inciting others
... and there are many, many others. Tell all your friends and family! A great book about this is a little $5.00 paperback (in the U.S., anyway; I know in Japan "everything is more expensive," because it all has to be imported, right?) is called:
"INSTANT VOCABULARY" by Ida Erlich
Another really good little $5.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 88 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Inaccurate, Incomplete, and Tedious 9 Aug. 2015
By Retired Olde Farte - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a number of books similar to this - I enjoy reading on the origins of some of the idioms and cliches, etc. in our language. This is not one of my favorites. It is well-organized (alphabetical) but many of the entries are incorrect (the author was especially ignorant of many of the phrases that originated on sailing ships of the British and American Navies of yesteryear) and attributed those to civilian-based origins, and many other sailing ship phrases were ignored (example: Getting Down to Brass Tacks, Four Sheets to the Wind, etc). This book might be valuable to easily look up a phrase that you hear and are curious about but the information may or may not be complete or accurate. I also found that I lost interest very quickly in reading it (cover to cover) - unlike other similar books, such as the Imponderable series of books by author David Feldman - those were fun to read and reasonably well-researched. I would suggest potential readers look elsewhere than this book, but maybe that's just me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SO MUCH FUN WITH THIS BOOK 29 Nov. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a blast. I left it out on the coffee table and my roommates would pull it out and attempt to use obscure cliches in sentences without anyone noticing. It actually became a game in the house and shared tons of laughs while learning some cool out-of-date cliches. 10/10 would recommend.
68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll be filled to the brim with knowledge. 17 Jun. 2004
By M. E. Volmar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This informative, well-researched and amusing reference explains the meaning, origin and subsequent usage of over 2000 cliches, sayings and expressions made familiar through their continued, and sometimes exaggerated, use. It's a wonderful resource for writers, researchers and editors, for trivia enthusiasts, and for people who just love words, language and slang.
Each entry in this comprehensive collection is presented in a paragraph-length format, and is written in a clear, concise and humorous style that invites browsing, but is also appropriate for easy consultations, for which an index of cross-references is also included. Here you'll find the well known "head over heels," "fit as a fiddle" and "right as rain" and also the not so common "eager for the fray" and "Simon pure."
Although not all the cliches ever used are contained in this volume, it is by far the most complete compilation of its kind available on the market today.
Overall, this book is a delightful trip of exploration and discovery into the treasury of our language's most colorful remarks.
--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected 7 Mar. 2014
By BarnKat14 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
While a few of the 'clichés' are interesting, most of them are so obvious, anyone could figure it out. A couple examples from the book: "His days are numbered - Fate is closing in on him; his death is near" and "Second to None - as good as any competitor." The author cites the first time the phrase was supposedly used. I've found other books on this topic to be much more interesting.
5.0 out of 5 stars Answers to why of what some people say. 10 July 2014
By Happy Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Daughter-in-law from another land is becoming familiar with American clichés and sayings, loved getting this book. We have a lot of these and many are often misquoted. This provides a nice resource to get the full meaning of phrases with national but often times, local variations. In her occupation as writer and editor for a exported magazine, she often runs across clichés whose full meaning is not obvious.
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