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9 Reviews
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Enlightening, December 16, 1999
This review is from: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions (Paperback)
From "Abelard and Heloise" to "Zuzu's Petals", this book provides the history, meaning, and context for many of the creative and colorful allusions that enrich fine writing. For every entry I knew, I found at least a dozen that I either was misinterpreting or just glossed over in my reading. A great book for the reference shelf, bedside or to leave in the bathroom!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Content, August 14, 2003
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Bert Wiefels (Banning, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions (Paperback)
The Merriam-Webster's dictionary of allusion has far more information than the Oxford Dictionary of Allusion. In addition, the allusions are more contempory than the Oxford. Over a week's time I read the dictionary from cover to cover. I came away with a week's entertainment, a better understanding of some phrases, and understanding of some phrases I had totally misunderstood for years. A fine book, I wish I had bought a hard cover edition.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When was learning ever this much fun?, February 20, 2000
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This review is from: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions (Paperback)
Open Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions to any page and you're bound to learn a thing or two..or three...or more. You'll also smile at the journey that brought you to new insights. The authors have done a masterful job of illuminating the language with scholarship and wit. So much brighter, lighter, enlightening and fun than most reference books--but no less useful.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is fun., April 20, 2003
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This review is from: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions (Paperback)
I own this book and have given copies away to family and friends. Most people who pick this book up and open it to almost any page will learn something, be reminded of something they forgot, or maybe get straightened out on a misconception they had. Rarely will they put it down without having enjoyed the experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, September 29, 2006
This review is from: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions (Paperback)
I am addicted to this amazing little book. If you are at all a fan of language, or if, as many have mentioned, you simply wish to be entertained, this is your book. As would perhaps be expected, its authors are quite erudite themselves, and the journalists and writers that they quote are also top notch. This is my #1 read and I take it everywhere!!! Great for improving one's cultural literacy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars years old, but still fun and educational to read, May 18, 2007
By 
Sunny "Sunny" (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions (Paperback)
This is like a shorter, more accessible, and American version of Brewer's Dictionary, which this book does cite as a reference. Other differences are that this provides a pronunciation guide for certain words and that contextual examples are drawn mostly from periodicals pre-1999.

It includes allusions to poems ("snows of yesteryear" and "waste its sweetness on the desert air"), the Bible ("Sodom and Gomorrah"), 20th century novels ("Peyton Place" and the "Snopes family" in Faulkner's works), Latin usage ("ex cathedra") and TV ("Eddie Haskell" and "Ozzie and Harriet").

There are explanations of such terms as Daliesque, scorched earth, ignorant armies (forces blindly fighting with each other with no understanding of whom they are fighting or why), gnomes of Zurich, Walpurgis Night, zero-sum game, Mobius strip, Peter Principle, Heimlich maneuver, and non-denial denial.

Reading it, I also learned that the NSA was known as the "puzzle palace."
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4.0 out of 5 stars Allusions, October 6, 2013
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This review is from: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions (Paperback)
The volume has a good mix of known allusions, ones heard often, and not so well known ones. It also gives examples in recent writings
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5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Lived Up to Expectations, February 11, 2011
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This review is from: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions (Paperback)
For the aspiring writer, curious reader, or simply as a reference, this book completely satisfies. The number of allusions included is monumental, and the definitions are easy to read, helpful, and concise. No complaints.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, October 22, 2009
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This review is from: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions (Paperback)
This book will be a great addition to my reference library. It's in excellent shape and it arrived quickly.
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Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions by Elizabeth Webber (Paperback - Jan. 1999)
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