The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms (4,000+ Idioms) (Penguin Reference Books) Paperback – 29 Mar 2001
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From the Publisher
Some sample entries:
TO BE STILL WET BEHIND THE EARS
To be naïve, inexperienced. `He will be no match for them; he is still wet behind the ears.' The phrase has its origin in children's neglect to dry themselves behind the ears.
TO GO DOWN WITH THE SHIP
To stay at one's post until the bitter end. There was a tradition that the captain should go down with his ship. When the Titanic sank (1912), both the captain and designer went down with the ship, although they were offered places in the life-boats. In modern times, the rule has been relaxed, and the captain is expected to be the last to leave the ship.
A WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING
Someone who looks respectable and harmless but whose behaviour is quite the opposite. `Young children have to be aware of strangers who are kind and generous but could turn out to be wolves in sheep's clothing, such as paedophiles.' Also used with reference to trees, plants, food, etc. `Golden Rain is a magnificent-looking tree but it is like a wolf in sheep's clothing - the seeds are extremely poisonous.'
From the Author
I`m sorry to say that the first print of the second edition has an enormous number of numerical mistakes in the last 50 pages of the Index. Penguin deeply regrets this mishap and I hope very much that no more of these copies are being sold. The index has in the meantime been corrected. Therefore, please be sure to buy only the second edition where it says: Reprinted with amended index 2002. This amended second edition has been highly recommended by the Good Book Guide in the October 2002 magazine as one of those great classic reference works ....See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Each entry gives an explanation and example of use, and all entries are organised in categories for extra easy reference - which are: Colours, Elements, Weather, Time, Life & Death, Trees & Plants, Animals, Birds, Fish, Insects, Body, Mind, Illness & Ailments, Relations, Town & Around, The House, Furniture & Household Articles, Food, Clothes, Ships, The World And Its Places, Languages & Nationalities, Names, Monarchy & Parliament, War & Peace, Weapons, Tools, Numbers, School & Education, Work & Occupations, Money & Valuables, Games & Sports, Music & Theatre, Word & Words.
So, if you're writing a piece on a certain subject (for instance I was writing something the other based on colours) you can simply flick to that section a find all the sayings and idioms you could ever want to on the subject. Also, there is an index so you can look up individual words - this too is laid out in a way that is very quick and easy to use. For example, let's suppose you need a saying that uses the word 'String'. A quick glance in the index and you will see:
String, a second string to one's bow 258/1; harp on the same s.315/10; have someone on a s.Read more ›
Good gift though for those Countdown viewer
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ideal for those who wish to understand the huge number of colloquialisms and idiomsPublished 4 months ago by Mike Gee
For a Penguin product, the production clarity and typography were a let-down. Also, omissions of fairly common examples (e.g. I couldn't find Son of a Gun). Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michael Morrison
Bought this for a gift and loved it. Some additional comments on origins for each idiom would be an added dimension.Published 5 months ago by Will J
The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms is well written and contains a wealth of knowledge. I would recommend it to anyone who wants
to improve their English.