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Alexander the Great

[Na] Leader of the Macedonians. Born in 356 bc, Alexander was tutored in his early years by Aristotle before succeeding his father Philip as king of Macedonia and the mainland of ...

Atossa

Atossa   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough ( 1660–1744 ), is said to be intended under this name by Alexander Pope ( Moral Essays , ii ( 1731–5 )). Her friend, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu , is called sappho . The Duchess of Buckingham has also been suggested for Atossa. The name was originally that of the daughter of cyrus , king of Persia, in the 6th century bc . She was successively the wife of her brother Cambyses , of the Magdian Smerdis, and of darius the Great, by whom she bore xerxes...

Atticus

Atticus   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...Roman scholar and master of Greek, publisher and patron of the arts ( 110–32 bc ). His taste and judgement were so highly thought of that even cicero submitted several of his treatises to him. Atticus Finch See finch . Christian Atticus, The Reginald Heber ( 1783–1826 ), bishop of Calcutta, a great hymn writer. English Atticus, The Joseph Addison ( 1672–1719 ), so called by Alexander Pope ( Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot , 1735 ) because of his refined taste and philosophical mind. Irish Atticus, The George Faulkner ( 1700–75 ), bookseller, publisher and...

Nickname

Nickname   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...nicknames alluding to their appearance, attributes or achievements. They include the following: alexander the great : Alexander III ( 356–323 bc ), king of Macedon Alexander the Liberator: Alexander II ( 1818–81 ), tsar of Russia Alfonso the Astronomer: Alfonso X ( 1221–84 ), king of León and Castile Alfonso the Battler: Alfonso I ( 1073–1134 ), king of Aragon and Navarre Alfonso the Magnanimous: Alfonso V ( 1396–1458 ), king of León, Castile and Sicily alfred the great : Alfred ( 849–99 ), king of Wessex barbarossa : Frederick I ( 1122–90 ),...

Dog

Dog   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

... ( under spain ) . Dog, The diogenes ( 412–323 BC). When Alexander the Great of Macedon went to see Diogenes he supposedly introduced himself with these words: ‘I am Alexander, surnamed the Great,’ to which the philosopher replied: ‘And I am Diogenes, surnamed the Dog.’ The Athenians raised to his memory a pillar of Parian marble, surmounted by a dog. See also cynic . Dog-and-pony show Derogatory US slang for an elaborate formal public occasion, especially a public presentation, as for a political party’s new manifesto. The allusion is to a travelling...

Letter

Letter   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...of safe conduct A writ under the great seal , guaranteeing safety of passage to the person named in the passport. Letter of the law To keep to the letter of the law is to observe it strictly; to follow out the regulations thoroughly and to avoid breaking them. Letter of Uriah A treacherous letter, implying friendship but in reality a death warrant. And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye...

Nine

Nine   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...from 9 am to 5 pm. Nine Worthies, The Nine heroes: three from the Bible, three from the classics and three from romance, or three pagans, three Jews and three Christians, who were bracketed together by writers like the seven wonders of the world . They are usually given as hector , alexander the great and Julius caesar ; joshua , david and Judas maccabaeus ; arthur , charlemagne and godfrey of bouillon . Shakespeare’s Pageant of the Nine Worthies in Love’s Labour’s Lost (V, ii ( 1594 )) has an incomplete list of five, which includes Pompey ...

headstrong

headstrong adj.   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
200 words

..., at H1. • “His underlying message was more subtle: Republicans should not rush headstrong [read headlong ] this early into backing either of the two most popular contenders: Gov. George W. Bush of Texas or Elizabeth Dole.” Richard L. Berke , “Lamar Alexander Declares Run for President in 2000 ,” N.Y. Times , 10 Mar. 1999 , at A15. Sometimes the senses truly seem to merge, as headstrong takes on an adverbial quality more evocative than headlong —e.g.: “Creationists have run headstrong into teachers and scientists who have effectively lobbied...

Alliteration

Alliteration   Quick reference

The Oxford Companion to the English Language (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...been translated into modern alliterative verse in 1973 by Michael Alexander as: ‘Attend! We have heard of the thriving of the throne of Denmark, / how the folk-kings flourished in former days’. Such verse died out with the coming of the Normans and consequent French influence, but was revived in the 13c. The best-known poems are Langland ’s Piers Plowman and the anonymous Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (both 14c). Two lines from Langland run: ‘In a somer seson whan soft was the sonne, / I shope me in shroudes, as I a shepe were’ (shope dressed,...

elope

elope   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
258 words

...the impression that the latter had eloped with his wife, and was secreting himself in that vicinity, it is difficult to see upon what principle his threats in that connection were excluded.” Alexander v. United States , 138 U.S. 353, 356 ( 1891 ). • “James Campbell had eloped with the wife of one Ludlow.” Adger v. Ackerman , 115 F. 124, 130 (8th Cir. 1902 ). Today the word does not ordinarily apply exclusively to women. It may, of course, as here: “After an idyllic childhood, Anderson impulsively eloped at 18 and endured a wedding night that she...

du jour

du jour   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
475 words

...1998 , South Weekly §, at 1. • “The soup de jour [read du jour ] features such varieties as collard green or garbanzo bean.” Carol Jeffares Hedman , “Easter Meals Served Up with a View,” Tampa Trib . , 20 Apr. 2000 , Fla. §, at 8. • “The Bengals are the team de jour [read du jour ] in the NFL.” Mark Curnutte , “Rushing Defense a Concern,” Cincinnati Enquirer , 20 Sept. 2005 , at C1. ✳De jour could become the great misspelling of our day. In French, by the way, du is a sort of contraction for de le in the same way that au is for á le . ...

etc

etc   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
702 words

...appropriate: “The presidential heavyweight hopefuls—Dole, Sen. Phil Gramm, ex-Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander, etc . [read et al .]—were present and accounted for at the GOP Midwest leadership conference in Green Bay over the weekend.” “Lake Jump,” Chicago Trib . , 22 May 1995 , § 1, at 12. See et al . Language-Change Index etc . misused for et al .: Stage 3 D. Misspelled and Mispronounced. When spelled out, the Latin words should be separate <et cetera> . When pronounced, the term should not be shortened to three syllables—so /et set -ә-rә/ , not...

phenomenon

phenomenon   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
791 words

...several phenomenon [read phenomena ] in the earth including the well-known jerkiness in the planet's rotational rate.” George Alexander , “Cat Scans Used to Explore the Earth,” N.Y. Times , 16 Dec. 1986 , at C3. Cf. criterion & media . Language-Change Index phenomenon as false plural for phenomena : Stage 1 C. And phenomenons , phenom(s) . Even though phenomena is the accepted plural, some people erroneously write phenomenons —e.g.: • “The seven-day week, alone among the components of the calendar, has always been thought to be a...

Spelling Reform

Spelling Reform   Quick reference

The Oxford Companion to the English Language (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Language reference, History of English, Linguistics
Length:
1,878 words

...The later 1870s saw the founding of spelling-reform associations on both sides of the Atlantic, whose members included Tennyson and Darwin. Such eminent philologists as Henry sweet and Alexander Ellis in the UK and Francis March in the US experimented with reformed alphabets. In the 1880s, many students of the new science of phonetics were interested in the development of a phonetic alphabet not only for academic purposes but also as a possible precursor of a reformed spelling system for English. New Spelling At the beginning of the 20c, the cause...

pleaded

pleaded   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
799 words

... are used as the past tense.” Clarence Stratton , Handbook of English 245 ( 1940 ). • “ Pleaded is the approved past tense of plead . thus : He pleaded (not ‘pled’ or ‘plead’) not guilty .” Alexander M. Witherspoon , Common Errors in English and How to Avoid Them 135 ( 1943 ). • “The past and p.p. are pleaded . Pled is now colloq. or dial. (or Sc.).” Margaret Nicholson , DAEU at 427. The problem with these strong pronouncements, of course, is that ✳pled and ✳plead have gained some standing in AmE, as the Evanses noted in the 1950s...

aesthetics

aesthetics   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Semiotics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Language reference, Linguistics
Length:
1,757 words

...is a branch of philosophy that concerns either the nature of beauty (whether natural or artistic) or the nature of art (whether beautiful or not). Aesthetics is sometimes understood to encompass any rigorous and philosophical contemplation of the arts; taken in this sense, aesthetics developed in the West out of the discussions of dramatic, rhetorical, and musical performance forms in Plato and Aristotle and led to a great diversity of perspectives. In this first framework, the semiotics of art is simply one among various approaches. Aesthetics is...

Cockney

Cockney   Quick reference

The Oxford Companion to the English Language (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Language reference, History of English, Linguistics
Length:
3,389 words

..., the Sam Weller dialect had passed away so completely that I should have given it up as a literary fiction if I had not discovered it surviving in a Middlesex village, and heard of it from an Essex one. Some time in the eighties the late Alexander Tuer called attention in the Pall Mall Gazette to several peculiarities of modern cockney, and to the obsolescence of the Dickens dialect that was still being copied from book to book by authors who never dreamt of using their ears, much less of training them to listen. Cockney beyond the 19c Currently, the term...

Dialect

Dialect   Quick reference

The Oxford Companion to the English Language (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Language reference, History of English, Linguistics
Length:
6,534 words

... east anglia and the london area; Southern , extending west to Celtic Cornwall; Kentish , stopping short of the Isle of Wight. The social and literary standard form of English which slowly emerged after the Norman Conquest in 1066 was based not on the Southern but the East Midland dialect, with an increasing Scandinavian overlay. Dialects and standard With the introduction by Caxton of the printing press in London in 1476 a great boost was given to the speech of the capital. As the standard language evolved, writing in the other dialects of...

Buddhism

Buddhism   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Semiotics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Language reference, Linguistics
Length:
4,131 words

...systematically the doctrines and practices of the absolute language, which it identified with mantras and dhāraṇīs . The word of the Buddha was considered to be a reality in itself, which cannot be reduced to mere expression of an individual thought: It was the objective expression, the double of reality as experienced after enlightenment. As the great Japanese monk Kūkai ( 774–835 ) wrote, only if language and reality are closely and deeply related can the Buddha show the way to salvation through his teachings ( Hakeda , 1972 ). The esoteric Japanese...

Old English

Old English 1   Quick reference

The Oxford Companion to the English Language (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Language reference, History of English, Linguistics
Length:
2,865 words

... he bore God’s ire; of human kind in the high hall. till their wine-hall, he could clearly make out plated in gold. a free translation Down off the moorlands’ misting fells came Grendel stalking; God’s brand was on him. The spoiler meant to snatch away from the high hall some of the human race. He came on under the clouds, clearly saw at last the gold-hall of men, the mead-drinking place nailed with gold plates. ( Michael Alexander , Beowulf , Penguin Classics, 1973) 2. Prose: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (years 981, 982) 981. Hēr on þìs gēare wæs...

Sublime, The

Sublime, The   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Rhetoric

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Language reference, Linguistics
Length:
2,813 words

...change. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the sublime was associated with the grandiosity of great oratory and the expansiveness of the natural environment. Although the influence of the concept waned by the 1900s, its development from pragmatics to aesthetics and, recently, to politics has established a contemporary alternative to the dominant ancient inheritance. The sublime tradition began with “Longinus's” fragmentary treatise, Peri Hypsos (On the Sublime) . Written approximately one century into the common era, it deviated from the dominant...

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