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The Oxford Library of Words and Phrases Boxed Set:"Vol 1: Concise Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins","Vol 2: Concise Oxford Dictionary of ... and "Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations" Hardcover – Box set, 10 Nov 1988

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2nd edition (10 Nov. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198691661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198691662
  • Package Dimensions: 23 x 14.8 x 8.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 543,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Praise for the First Edition "Scholarly, meticulous, and authoritative"--The Washington Post Book World"A rich and absorbing collection....Simpson's introduction {is succinct and helpful...[and his] system of cross-referencing is exemplary"--The Times Literary SupplementFor the Second Edition: "The listing is aphabetical by key word, and the articles cite the various instances chronologically. Very well cross-referenced, and indexed topically." --Reference and Research Book News --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

About the Editors John Simpson is Co-Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. Jennifer Speake is editor of many reference works, including A Dictionary of the Renaissance. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These arrived in perfect condition! Absolutely wonderful!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent group of reference books
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.4 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and informative! 4 Nov. 2016
By pollyanna - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fun to learn from and to teach with and to share with family and friends. Definitely useful for looking up words and phrases that you use or have heard of and wondered about. This answers your wonderment! Bought two - one for a gift - one for our home!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful and Entertaining 29 Aug. 2014
By Tory Anderson - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A delightful collection of adages, some new and some old, that are not only useful in daily vernacular but are also great material for story-writers who want to add some character to their dialog.
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential! 27 April 2016
By Rick D. Mousley - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A valuable tool for lyric writing!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over 1000 Major Proverbs with illustrative quotations. 27 Jun. 2001
By tepi - Published on
Format: Paperback
THE CONCISE OXFORD DICTIONARY OF PROVERBS. Edited by John Simpson. with the assistance of Jennifer Speake. Second Edition. 316 pp. Oxford & New York : 1992. ISBN 0-19-866177-0 (hbk.)
Although we may think of the proverb as a thing of the past, and tend to associate it with what we naively suppose were 'simpler' rustic folks, the editors assure us that this is far from the case. New proverbs are continually being created, and the modern computer industry, economics; aeronautics, and even show business have all enriched language with their own contributions : 'Garbage in, garbage out;' 'There's no such thing as a free lunch;' 'If anything can go wrong, it will;' 'The best things in life are free;' etc.
The present book is a collection of over 1000, and every major proverb in use today is included, with explanations of its meanings and use _whenever they are obscure_. What this last means, of course, is that the editors felt no need to explain the meaning of a proverb when the meaning ought to be perfectly obvious to the native speaker of English.
Instead of this, what we have been given are numerous illustrative quotations, all precisely referenced and dated, which show how the proverb has been used down through the ages. Actual quotations are given from a wide range of sources, and dating from as early as the thirteenth century through to today.
To some, and especially to readers of pre-modern literature, these quotations will seem a far more valuable use of space than a mere restatement of the meaning of a proverb in modern prose. Each proverb is followed by six or seven of these illustrative examples which give full contexts and can be fascinating to browse through.
Another important feature of the book is its new thematic index which allows the reader to quickly find quotations on a wide range of subjects : idleness, bee-keeping, stupidity, stress, disappointment, etc.
The book is extremely well-printed in double columns on excellent paper, but is neither stitched nor cloth-covered as it deserves, having instead a glued spine and paper-covered boards, such being the price, I guess, of progress.
All in all, this is an excellent book, but don't go to it expecting it to tell you what your own native intelligence should be able to figure out for itself. It has set itself a higher and far more interesting and useful goal, and seems to me to have succeeded admirably.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Let Down 31 Aug. 2000
By jlenarf - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, although very well organized and with so many useful entries, fails to explain the meanings of practically most of the proverbs. But if you're really good at guessing meanings by reading examples given (there are plenty of them), you should have no difficulty at all. Not for me.
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