Questions about the origins or meanings of words and phrases are among the most frequently asked in many libraries, and often those words and phrases are clichés. The latest edition of this helpful guide explains some 4,000 stock phrases, annoying expressions, and overworked words. Entries are arranged alphabetically, and numerous cross-references and a comprehensive index offer additional points of access. Because language is fluid, and terms and expressions flow in and out of common usage, a number of entries from previous editions have been dropped to make room for the addition of contemporary expressions (e.g., Carbon footprint, Not so much, Bling). As with other word books, like quotation dictionaries, the earlier editions should be retained for maximum coverage. This is an excellent choice for reference collections of any size. --Carolyn Mulac
About the Author
Christine Ammer is the author of more than three dozen popular reference books on subjects ranging from classical music to women's health. For the past 20 years, she has concentrated on language. Her other books on words and phrases include The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms; Cool Cats, Top Dogs, and Other Beastly Expressions; Fighting Words: From War, Rebellion, and Other Combative Capers; and Fruitcakes and Couch Potatoes and Other Delicious Expressions. She also writes a column on terms from military history for Military History Quarterly. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
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