A Dictionary of Catch Phrases

British and American, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day

Author: Eric Partridge

Publisher: Psychology Press


Category: Foreign Language Study

Page: 384

View: 715

A catch phrase is a well-known, frequently-used phrase or saying that has `caught on' or become popular over along period of time. It is often witty or philosophical and this Dictionary gathers together over 7,000 such phrases.

Dictionary of Catch Phrases

Author: Eric Partridge

Publisher: Scarborough House


Category: Social Science

Page: 408

View: 138

A catch phrase is a well-known, frequently-used phrase or saying that has `caught on' or become popular over along period of time. It is often witty or philosophical and this Dictionary gathers together over 7,000 such phrases.

The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms

American English Idiomatic Expressions & Phrases

Author: Christine Ammer

Publisher: HMH


Category: Reference

Page: 512

View: 719

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

Mad Music

Charles Ives, the Nostalgic Rebel

Author: Stephen Budiansky

Publisher: ForeEdge


Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 324

View: 206

Mad Music is the story of Charles Edward Ives (1874Ð1954), the innovative American composer who achieved international recognition, but only after he'd stopped making music. While many of his best works received little attention in his lifetime, Ives is now appreciated as perhaps the most important American composer of the twentieth century and father of the diverse lines of Aaron Copland and John Cage. Ives was also a famously wealthy crank who made millions in the insurance business and tried hard to establish a reputation as a crusty New Englander. To Stephen Budiansky, Ives's life story is a personification of America emerging as a world power: confident and successful, yet unsure of the role of art and culture in a modernizing nation. Though Ives steadfastly remained an outsider in many ways, his life and times inform us of subjects beyond music, including the mystic movement, progressive anticapitalism, and the initial hesitancy of turn-of-the-century-America modernist intellectuals. Deeply researched and elegantly written, this accessible biography tells a uniquely American story of a hidden genius, disparaged as a dilettante, who would shape the history of music in a profound way. Making use of newly published lettersÑand previously undiscovered archival sources bearing on the longstanding mystery of Ives's health and creative declineÑthis absorbing volume provides a definitive look at the life and times of a true American original.

Garner's Modern American Usage

Author: Bryan Garner

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA


Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 1008

View: 103

Since first appearing in 1998, Garner's Modern American Usage has established itself as the preeminent guide to the effective use of the English language. Brimming with witty, erudite essays on troublesome words and phrases, GMAU authoritatively shows how to avoid the countless pitfalls that await unwary writers and speakers whether the issues relate to grammar, punctuation, word choice, or pronunciation. An exciting new feature of this third edition is Garner's Language-Change Index, which registers where each disputed usage in modern English falls on a five-stage continuum from nonacceptability (to the language community as a whole) to acceptability, giving the book a consistent standard throughout. GMAU is the first usage guide ever to incorporate such a language-change index. The judgments are based both on Garner's own original research in linguistic corpora and on his analysis of hundreds of earlier studies. Another first in this edition is the panel of critical readers: 120-plus commentators who have helped Garner reassess and update the text, so that every page has been improved. Bryan A. Garner is a writer, grammarian, lexicographer, teacher, and lawyer. He has written professionally about English usage for more than 28 years, and his work has achieved widespread renown. David Foster Wallace proclaimed that Bryan Garner is a genius and William Safire called the book excellent. In fact, due to the strength of his work on GMAU, Garner was the grammarian asked to write the grammar-and-usage chapter for the venerable Chicago Manual of Style. His advice on language matters is second to none.

The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, Christine Ammer, 1997

The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms

Author: Forbes, Inc

Publisher: Bukupedia



Page: 1191

View: 829

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.