The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology Quick reference
Based on The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, the principal authority on the origin and development of English words, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Etymology contains a wealth of information about the English language and its history. Find out where the words 'bungalow' and 'assassin' came from, what 'nice' meant in the Middle Ages and much more.
Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms (3 ed.) Quick reference
"Anyone who is addicted to the richness of the English language or simply intrigued by the origin and meaning of an idiom like ‘teach your grandmother to suck eggs’ will relish this work" – Library Journal
Did you know that ‘flavour of the month’ originated in a marketing campaign in American ice-cream parlours in the 1940s, when a particular flavour would be specially promoted for a month at a time? And did you know that ‘off the cuff’ refers to the rather messy practice of writing impromptu notes on one's shirt cuff before speaking in public? These and many more idioms are explained and put into context in this third edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Idioms.
The volume takes a fresh look at the idiomatic phrases and sayings that make English the rich and intriguing language that it is. This major new edition contains entries for over 6,000 idioms, including 700 entirely new entries, based on Oxford's language monitoring and the ongoing third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. These include a range of recently established idioms such as ‘the elephant in the corner’, ‘go figure’, ‘like a rat up a drainpipe’, ‘sex on legs’, ‘step up to the plate’, ‘too posh to push’, ‘a walk in the park’, ‘win ugly’. This edition also features a greatly increased number of cross-references, making it ideal for quick reference.
Many entries include additional features which give more detailed background on the idiom in question. For example, did you know that ‘taken aback’ was adopted from nautical terminology that described a ship unable to move forward because of a strong headwind pressing its sails back against the mast?
A New Dictionary of Eponyms Quick reference
This dictionary features the entertaining histories behind hundreds of eponyms, such as bowdlerize (from the censorious Thomas Bowdler), bikini from the atoll, and the Salisbury steak, a dish of hamburger and brown gravy named after James H. Salisbury, an English physician who promoted a diet of ground beef. There are hundreds more - discover to whom we owe the terms hooker, sideburn, zeppelin, the cardigan sweater, pamphlet, robot, and argyle socks.
The Oxford Companion to the English Language (2 ed.) Quick reference
Over 1,400 entries
This new edition of a landmark Companion notably focuses on World Englishes, English language teaching, English as an international language, and the effect of technological advances on the English language. More than 130 new entries include African American English, British Sign Language, China English, digital literacy, multimodality, social networking, superdiversity, and text messaging. It also includes new biographical entries on key individuals who have had an impact on the English language in recent decades, including Beryl (Sue) Atkins, Adam Kilgariff, and John Sinclair.
It is an invaluable reference for English language students and fascinating reading for any general reader with an interest in language.
The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.) Quick reference
‘ground-breaking’, Writing Magazine
This authoritative dictionary draws on Oxford's unrivalled bank of reference and language resources in order to explore the stories behind names and sayings that can be found in classic literature or today's news. Questions it seeks to answer include: What are Anglo-Saxon attitudes? Who first tried to nail jelly to the wall? When was the Dreamtime? Would you want the Midas touch? Should you worry about grey goo? Answers cover a range of topics, such as classical and other mythologies, history, religion, folk customs, superstitions, science and technology, philosophy, and popular culture.
The Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins (2 ed.) Quick reference
"A treasure (from the Greek ‘thesauros’, treasure, store or storehouse) trove (past participle of an Anglo-Norman verb meaning ‘to find’) of verbal wonders" – William Hartston, Daily Express
Combining both accessibility and authority, The Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins describes the origins and development of over 3,000 words and phrases in the English language. The book draws on Oxford's unrivalled dictionary research programme and language monitoring, and relates the fascinating stories behind many of our most curious terms and expressions in order to offer the reader a much more explicit account than can be found in a general English dictionary.
Organized A-Z, the entries include first known use along with examples that illustrate the many faces of the particular word or phrase, from ‘handsome’ to ‘bachelor’ and ‘cute’ to ‘baby’, from ‘pagan’ to ‘palaver’ and ‘toff’ to ‘torpedo’. Also featured are almost 20 special entries that cover expressions common in English but drawn from other languages, such as ‘coffee’, ‘sugar’, and ‘candy’ from Arabic or ‘booze’, ‘brandy’, and ‘gin’ (Dutch).
This absorbing volume is useful for language students and enthusiasts, but also an intriguing read for any person interested in the development of the English language and of language development in general. Includes an extended introduction on the history of the English language.