the american heritage dictionary of idioms second edition

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The American Heritage Dictionary Of Idioms

Author : Christine Ammer
ISBN : 9780547677538
Genre : Reference
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From “all systems go” to “senior moment”—a comprehensive reference to idiomatic English. The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms explores the meanings and origins of idioms that may not make literal sense but play an important role in the language—including phrasal verbs such as kick back, proverbs such as too many cooks spoil the broth, interjections such as tough beans, and figures of speech such as elephant in the room. With extensive revisions that reflect new historical scholarship and changes in the English language, this second edition defines over 10,000 idiomatic expressions in greater detail than any other dictionary available today—a remarkable reference for those studying the English language, or anyone who enjoys learning its many wonderful quirks and expressions. “Invaluable as a teaching tool.” —School Library Journal

The American Heritage Dictionary Of Idioms Christine Ammer 1997

Author : Forbes, Inc
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Preface This book is a comprehensive survey of the idioms currently used in American English. An idiom is a set phrase of two or more words that means something different from the literal meaning of the individual words. For instance, the phrase to change one's tune has nothing to do with music but means "to alter one's attitude." Similarly, to hit the nail on the head often has nothing to do with carpentry but means simply "to be absolutely right." Idioms are the idiosyncrasies of a language. Often defying the rules of logic, they pose great difficulties for non-native speakers. English abounds with phrases such as if worst comes to worst, far and away, and how do you do, which, if translated literally, make no sense. Indeed, the true test of an idiom is whether it changes meaning when rendered word for word in another language. In addition to idioms, this book includes common figures of speech, such as dark horse and blind as a bat; interjections and formula phrases, such as all the best and take care; emphatic redundancies whose word order cannot be reversed, such as far and wide and cease and desist; common proverbs, especially ones that often occur in abbreviated form, such as a bird in the hand; colloquialisms such as off the beam and out in left field; and slang phrases such as push the envelope. Each expression is defined and illustrated by at least one sample sentence showing how it is used in context. In most cases the literal meaning of a phrase is omitted; thus the entry hold up omits the definition "keep upright" or "support." Wherever possible I have included information regarding the expression's origin or background, along with its date of first appearance. I have given approximate dates for most idioms to allow for their probable use in speech before being written down. The ultimate origin of many idioms is unknown. Some idioms, such as by hook or crook, use familiar words in obscure ways. Some preserve words that are otherwise obsolete, such as hue in hue and cry and fell in in one fell swoop. I have tried to explain these lost origins and obscure meanings whenever research can shed light on them. The result is a dictionary that treats almost 10,000 English expressions in greater detail and depth than any other book available today. I hope that all speakers of English will find it both useful and enjoyable. Heartfelt thanks are due to the many friends and acquaintances who have offered valuable suggestions, advice, and help, especially my husband Dean Ammer. Special mention must be made of Joseph Pickett, Senior Lexicographer, and Susan Chicoski, Associate Editor, of Houghton Mifflin Company, and of their colleagues David A. Jost and Kaethe Ellis for their invaluable expertise. I would also like to thank Jesse Sheidlower of Random House for his generous help dating some of the slang expressions. The dictionary has been vastly improved through their assistance. CHRISTINE AMMER Guide to Using this Book Entries All entry phrases and synonymous variants are given in boldface type at the beginning of an entry before the definition. Related or similar expressions are given in boldface in the text of the entry. Historical precedents and obsolete phrases appear in italic type. Where a phrase has more than one meaning, definitions are numbered, and whenever possible, ordered by frequency of use. Example sentences appear in italic type, quotations in roman type within quotation marks, and cross-references in small capitals. Alphabetization and Cross-References Entries are arranged alphabetically, letter by letter up to the comma in the case of inverted or appended elements. To locate an entry, it sometimes may be hard to decide which word in a phrase will come first in the alphabetical listing. For example, is as luck would have it under as or luck? To help sort out these problems, entries listing cross-references for key words appear alphabetically among the main entries. By checking these key-word entries, readers can locate every phrase treated as an entry in this book. The reader who does not find as luck would have it under as can look under the entries beginning with the next word, luck. If more help is needed, the entry for the word luck itself lists all the idioms containing that word which appear elsewhere in the book. Variants or related expressions that are covered under other entry words appear in parentheses in the cross-references. Thus, at the entry soft the reader is referred to HARD (SOFT) SELL, which means that the entry hard sell also treats the phrase soft sell. Note, however, that words in parentheses are not considered part of the alphabetical order, so one should look for hard sell, not hard soft sell. Variable Pronouns Many idioms can be used with different pronouns, as, for example, clean up his act, clean up her act, clean up my act. Consequently, the pronouns one and someone are used in entry words and variants to indicate that the object or possessive pronoun in the idiom may vary according to context. One or one's means that the antecedent of the pronoun must be the subject of the clause, or in some cases an inanimate noun or a gerund must be the subject. For example, the idiom hit one's stride can appear in a sentence such as She finally hit her stride, or the idiom serve one right can be used in a sentence such as It serves him right to be thrown off the team. But note that sentences like She finally hit his stride are not possible. The use of someone or someone's in the idiom means that the pronoun can be replaced only by a noun or pronoun that does not refer to the grammatical subject of the clause. In other words, the action of the verb is directed from one person to another (the "someone"). For example, the idiom call someone's bluff implies that you (or he or she or they) can only call someone else's bluff, never your (or his or her or their) own. Labels The labels in brackets preceding the date of an idiom's first appearance indicate the degree of formality or offensiveness. The label colloquial means that a phrase is used in ordinary speech and informal writing but not in more formal contexts. Slang generally refers to phrases that are appropriate only to very informal contexts or are used in irreverent humor. Vulgar slang indicates that a phrase is generally considered offensive. The absence of such a label indicates that a term is considered standard English. Note that these labels are bound to change, as are the idioms themselves. What is slang today may be standard English tomorrow. Furthermore, what is common usage for a time may die out (in this book indicated as obsolescent) or it may change its meaning, as the idiom beg the question may be doing. As E.B. White put it, "The living language is like a cowpath; it is the creation of the cows themselves, who, having created it, follow it or depart from it according to their whims or their needs. From daily use, the path undergoes change." Dating Nearly all entries provide some indication of the idiom's history. For many entries the date when the expression was invented or first used appears within brackets. These dates are often approximate because in many cases a phrase has been used for some time in speech before being recorded in writing. In some cases, as when the expression first appeared in the work of a well-known writer, the precise date and location of its first recorded use are given. Within brackets the abbreviation c. (for Latin circa) is used to mean "about," as in "c. 1400." The abbreviation A.D. is used for the years 1 through 1000; B.C. is used to indicate years before A.D. 1. Quotations Unless otherwise specified, biblical quotations are from the King James translation of 1611. To avoid the difficulties posed to some readers by the English of earlier writers such as Chaucer, many quotations have had their spelling normalized, and some have been rendered into Modern English. Sources Among the principal sources used for dates and citations are, first and foremost, The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition; The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition; J.E. Lighter, Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume I; The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition; Eric Partridge, A Dictionary of Catch Phrases, American and British, from the 16th Century to the Present Day; Webster's Dictionary of English Usage; Wolfgang Mieder, A Dictionary of American Proverbs; Richard H. Thornton, An American Glossary; Mitford M. Mathews, A Dictionary of Americanisms; Burton Stevenson, Home Book of Proverbs, Maxims, and Familiar Phrases; John Algeo, Fifty Years Among the New Words; Clarence Barnhart, Sol Steinmetz, and Robert Barnhart, The Barnhart Dictionary of New English since 1963 and The Second Barnhart Dictionary of New English; and William Safire, "On Language" column, The New York Times.

The American Heritage Dictionary Of Idioms For Students Of English

Author : Houghton Mifflin Company
ISBN : 0395976200
Genre : Foreign Language Study
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This book provides useful information on the most used components of American English idiomatic expression.

Russian English Dictionary Of Idioms Revised Edition

Author : Sophia Lubensky
ISBN : 9780300162271
Genre : Foreign Language Study
File Size : 63. 22 MB
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This is the most innovative, comprehensive, and scholarly bilingual dictionary of Russian idioms available today. It includes close to 14,000 idioms, set expressions, and sayings found in contemporary colloquial Russian and in literature from the nineteenth century to the present. The Russian idioms are provided with many English equivalents to render idioms in various contexts. Illustrative examples are cited to show how the idioms are used in context. Each entry also contains a grammatical description of the idiom, a definition—an innovative feature for a bilingual dictionary—and stylistic and usage information. A most notable part of the work is the alphanumeric index that makes finding the right expression very easy.

The American Heritage English As A Second Language Dictionary

Author : Houghton Mifflin Company
ISBN : 0395880696
Genre : Reference
File Size : 66. 28 MB
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Provides a word list and definitions; a simple alphabetic pronunication system; sample sentences and phrases; homonyms, synonyms, prefixes, and suffixes; and grammar information

The Oxford Handbook Of Lexicography

Author : Philip Durkin
ISBN : 9780191669309
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 35. 13 MB
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This volume provides concise, authoritative accounts of the approaches and methodologies of modern lexicography and of the aims and qualities of its end products. Leading scholars and professional lexicographers, from all over the world and representing all the main traditions and perspectives, assess the state of the art in every aspect of research and practice. The book is divided into four parts, reflecting the main types of lexicography. Part I looks at synchronic dictionaries - those for the general public, monolingual dictionaries for second-language learners, and bilingual dictionaries. Part II and III are devoted to the distinctive methodologies and concerns of historical dictionaries and specialist dictionaries respectively, while chapters in Part IV examine specific topics such as description and prescription; the representation of pronunciation; and the practicalities of dictionary production. The book ends with a chronology of major events in the history of lexicography. It will be a valuable resource for students, scholars, and practitioners in the field.

American English Es

Author : Roberto Cagliero
ISBN : 9781443849036
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 48. 26 MB
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American English(es) focuses on the manifold nature of a macro-regional variety of English which is better described in the plural form, thus enhancing the endless contribution of most diverse ethnic groups, such as those kidnapped from Africa to be employed as slaves, survivors of native American tribes systematically exterminated in the past, and, later on, European Jews escaping from pogroms, Europeans and Asians escaping from poverty, and, more recently, Central and South Americans, mostly Spanish speakers, emigrating to the USA in search of supposedly better living conditions. By tackling the notions of “minority”, “variety”, and “dialect”, this book singles out three language-related phenomena which are currently relevant to the academic and cultural debate concerning US society, namely the obsolescent representation of minority vs hegemonic varieties of English, the latest developments of the Spanish vs English controversy, and the increasing exposure of slang in public contexts. The multiple points of view on American Englishes, offered by the essays included in the present volume, draw on diverse and often contrasting approaches, ranging from corpus linguistics to cultural studies, from lexicography/lexicology to discourse analysis.

The Elements Of Expression

Author : Arthur Plotnik
ISBN : 9781936740246
Genre : Reference
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More than ever in this completely updated edition, The Elements of Expression helps word users "light up the cosmos or the written page or the face across the table" as they seek the radiance of expressiveness—the vivid expression of thoughts, feelings, and observations. Nothing kills radiance like the murky, generic language dominating today's talk, airwaves, and posts. It tugs at our every sentence, but using it to express anything beyond the ordinary is like flapping the tongue to escape gravity. The Elements of Expression offers an adventurous and inspiring flight into words that truly share what's percolating in our minds. Here writers, presenters, students, bloggers—even well intentioned "Mad Men"—will discover language to convey precise feelings, move audiences, delight and persuade. No snob or scold, the acclaimed word-maven Arthur Plotnik explores the full range of expressiveness, from playful "tough talk" to finely wrought literature, with hundreds of rousing examples. Confessing that we are all "like a squid in its ink" when first groping for luminous expression, he shines his amiable wit on the elements leading, ultimately, to language of "fissionable intensity."

Simon Schuster Handbook For Writers

Author : Lynn Q. Troyka
ISBN : 0131838075
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 48. 63 MB
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Simon Schuster Handbook For Writers

Author : Lynn Quitman Troyka
ISBN : UCSC:32106016182633
Genre : English language
File Size : 40. 45 MB
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This edition (first,1987) comprehensively covers topics ranging from an introduction to the essay-writing process to the rules of grammar, punctuation, and mechanics; effective sentences; and using English as a second language. Ample use is made of examples and visual aids and the text is usefully s

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