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Brewer's dictionary of phrase & fable (original 1870; edition 1995)

by Adrian Room

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,393223,892 (4.2)20
Member:snail
Title:Brewer's dictionary of phrase & fable
Authors:Adrian Room
Info:London: Cassell, 1995. xvii, 1182 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. 15th ed
Collections:Your library, words
Rating:
Tags:words, reference, history

Work details

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer (1870)

  1. 20
    A Dictionary of English Folklore by Jacqueline Simpson (waltzmn)
    waltzmn: Brewer's Dictionary covers world folklore, and so cannot be replaced by a single volume of national folklore -- but if you want English folklore, there is no better book than this edition by Jacqueline Simpson and Steve Roud.
  2. 21
    The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (galacticus)
  3. 00
    The Reader’s Encyclopedia by William Rose Benét (waltzmn)
    waltzmn: William Rose Benét, in his original publication of The Reader's Encyclopedia, admitted his debt to Brewer's Dictionary. Think of Benet's publication as a revised and improved edition. One suggestion: Don't try for the newer editions of Benet; go for the earlier ones, before the more recent editors cut out all the excellent folklore material and replaced it with all the modern "it's not art unless no one can understand it" type stuff.… (more)
  4. 00
    A Dictionary of Common Fallacies by Philip Ward (JessamyJane)
  5. 00
    Why You Say It by Webb Garrison (missmaddie)
  6. 00
    Shorter Dictionary of Catch Phrases by Rosalind Fergusson (KayCliff)
  7. 01
    The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy by Leonard S. Marcus (missmaddie)
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» See also 20 mentions

English (21)  Italian (1)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase & Fable explains the origins of the familiar and the unfamiliar in everyday speech and literature, including the colloquial and the proverbial, and embracing archaeology, history, religion, the arts, science, mythology, and characters from fiction. This invaluable dictionary, which revises and updates the original work of Dr Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, encompasses material from all over the English speaking world and cites many equivalents from other European countries. The inclusion of quotations which accompany and illustrate many of the entries adds hugely to the value of this legendary work of reference.
  Cultural_Attache | Jul 29, 2018 |
Used it quite a bit. A good one to have if you are writing in the fantasy genre. ( )
1 vote Greymowser | Jan 22, 2016 |
Had to seek this out after seeing it mentioned by Terry Pratchett as one of his valued reference sources.
  ritaer | Jul 11, 2015 |
My undated hardcover copy has been invaluable in research and writing. This reference book has nearly every entry you could think of, from famous people to plants to humorous linguistic corruptions of a popular 17th century Spanish wine ("Peter-see-me"). ( )
1 vote RShelton | May 24, 2011 |
Phrases, mythological names
  richardhobbs | Jan 1, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ebenezer Cobham Brewerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Buchanan-Brown, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gudefin, AlexIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pratchett, TerryForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Room, AdrianEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006019653X, Hardcover)

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable is one of the world's best-loved reference books. First published in 1870, this treasury of 'words that have a tale to tell has established itself as one of the great reference classics-the first port of call for tens of thousands of terms, phrases and proper names, and a fund of fascinating, unusual and out-of-the-way information.

At the heart of the dictionary lie entries on the meaning and origin of a vast range of words and expressions, from everyday phrases to Latin tags. Alongside these are articles on people and events in mythology and religion, and on folk customs, superstitions and beliefs. Major events and people in history are also treated, as are movements in art and literature, famous literary characters, and key aspects of popular culture, philosophy, geography, science and magic. To complete this rich mix of information, Brewer and his subsequent editors have added an extraordinary and enticing miscellany of general knowledge-lists of patron saints, terms in heraldry, regimental nicknames, public house names, and famous last words.

For the sixteenth edition of Brewer's the entire existing text has been revised and updated and over 1000 new articles added. These include:

recent expressions (the full monty, couchpotato, bit the ground running, Montezuma's revenge)recent events and organizations (Black Wednesday, Taliban)famous nicknames (Fab Four)historical and fictional characters (Attila the Hun, Anne Frank).

Brand-new articles on hurricane names, celebrated place-names in literature, and frequently mispronounced words continue the century-old Brewer's practice of recording unexpected and fascinating information that is not available in other general reference books.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:35 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

1000 new entries including paparazzi, full monty, couch potato and millennium bug.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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