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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.)

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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.)

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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.)

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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.)

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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 ...

Alliteration

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

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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,...

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...

Cockney

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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

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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...

Old English

Old English 1   Quick reference

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

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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...

smart

smart   Quick reference

Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms (3 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010

...look smart be quick. chiefly British smart alec ( or aleck) a person considered irritating because they know a great deal or always have a clever answer to a question. From the male personal name Alec , a short form of Alexander...

cut

cut   Quick reference

Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010

.... cut it fine: see fine . cut the Gordian knot solve or remove a problem in a direct or forceful way, rejecting gentler or more indirect methods. The knot referred to is that with which Gordius, king of ancient Phrygia (in Asia Minor), fastened the yoke of his wagon to the pole. Its complexity was such that it gave rise to the legend that whoever could undo it would become the ruler of Asia. When Alexander the Great passed that way en route to conquer the East he is said simply to have severed the knot with his sword. cut it out used to ask...

Thais

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The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006

...Athenian courtesan who is said to have caused Alexander the Great to set fire to Persepolis...

Thalestris

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The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)

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Current Version:
2006

...name of a legendary queen of the Amazons, who is said to have met Alexander the Great on the border of...

Seleucid

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The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006

...a member of a dynasty ruling over Syria and a great part of western Asia from 311 to 65 bc . Its capital was at Antioch. The name comes from Seleucus Nicator (the founder, one of Alexander the Great's ...

Ammon

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The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006

...Greek and Roman form of the name of the Egyptian god Amun . Ammon's son is an epithet of Alexander the Great , from the story in Plutarch of Alexander's visit to the temple of Ammon in Egypt, where he was greeted by the high priest as the son of the...

Bucephalus

Bucephalus   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006

...the favourite horse of Alexander the Great, who tamed the horse as a boy and took it with him on his campaigns until its death, after a battle, in 326 bc . The name in Greek means literally...

Darius

Darius   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006

...( 550–486 bc ), king of Persia 521–486 bc , known as Darius the Great . He divided the empire into provinces, governed by satraps, developed commerce, built a network of roads, and connected the Nile with the Red Sea by canal. After a revolt by the Greek cities in Ionia he invaded Greece but was defeated at Marathon . Darius was also the name of the last Achaemenid king of Persia ( 553–330 bc ), defeated and dethroned by Alexander the Great ( see Alexander...

Diadochi

Diadochi   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006

...the six Macedonian generals of Alexander the Great (Antigonus, Antipater, Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus), among whom his empire was eventually divided after his death in 323 bc . The word comes from Greek diadokhoi ...

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