Download Allen's Dictionary of English Phrases by Robert Allen PDF

By Robert Allen

"Allen's Dictionary of English words" is the main finished survey of this zone of the English language ever undertaken. taking on 6000 words, it explains their which means, explores their improvement and provides citations that variety from the Venerable Bede to Will Self. Crisply and wittily written, this publication is full of memorable and staggering element, even if displaying that 'salad days' comes from Antony and Cleopatra, that 'flavour of the month' originates in Nineteen Forties American ice cream advertising, or perhaps that now we have been 'calling a spade a spade' because the 16th century. "Allen's Dictionary of English words" is a part of the "Penguin Reference Library" and attracts on over 70 years of expertise in bringing trustworthy, invaluable and transparent info to thousands of readers worldwide - making wisdom everybody's estate.

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Sample text

The rise of the novel in the late 18th and 19th centuries provided a vehicle for the rapid spread of very many phrases that are now fully absorbed into everyday English. Notable among these are the set similes such as good as gold, which occurs frequently in the writing of Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Charlotte Yonge, and others. The prolific use of idioms by Dickens (take one’s secret to the grave, like grim death, lose one’s grip, eat one’s hat, take it into one’s head) was perhaps less of a surprise than the rich yield from Jane Austen (throw cold water on, be dying to, dog tired, done for, with one’s eyes open, act the fool) and, at an earlier date still, from Henry Fielding (kick one’s heels, draw in one’s horns, a fine kettle of fish, a likely story, leave somebody in the lurch).

Is it understood?

Worth of commodities, with which I set up another trade in the country: this turned to good account: for I seldom ventured on any thing, but it was effectual and to purpose. ace Ace originally denoted the one on a dice, and was later extended to refer to a playing card which has the numerical value of ‘one’ but often ranks highest of all. This ambiguous status of the ace in cards has led to two strands of idiom, its low nominal value giving rise to phrases associated with misfortune or bad luck (it occurs in this sense in Chaucer), and its high value being reflected in more recent idioms as the dominant underlying meaning.

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