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The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms (Oxford Paperback Reference) [Kindle Edition]

Judith Siefring , Judith Siefring
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

From Booklist

Oxford has published a second edition of a title that first appeared as a paperback in 1999. Promotional material declares that there are more than 5,000 definitions of idioms with 350 new idioms and "hundreds of new origin notes." The dictionary has been redesigned and visually improved with a two-column format interspersed with boxes that provide origin of the idioms. The idioms are arranged by keyword with a concise definition and sometimes the origin and an illustrative quotation. An index in which the idioms are grouped by subject--Haste and speed, Jealousy and envy, Poverty, Weather-- has been added. The book has a definite British-English and Australian tone. British spelling is used (checque, favours, labour), and many of the idioms are unique to a particular country. Idioms that were not in the first edition or in other idiom dictionaries include hot to trot, New York minute, and wazoo. New illustrative quotations are included from Frank McCourt, the Wall Street Journal, and the Guardian. Surprisingly, 24/7 has not yet found its place in a dictionary of idioms. The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms is current, but the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms (1997) concentrates on American English. Oxford Reference Online includes the first edition of the Oxford dictionary, and the second will probably appear soon. Libraries that need an up-to-date hardcover source for idioms should consider this new edition. Christine Bulson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


`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

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1215 KB
  • Print Length: 347 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0198610556
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2 edition (Sept. 23 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #338,562 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Simple but incomplete Dec 30 2009
I read a lot and I used this Idiom dictionary to understand the idioms used by the authors. It had some of them however it could have been more complete. I'd say I found about half of the common idioms in this dictionary.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overview of British English Idioms, With Origins Nov. 19 2007
By mziemba3 - Published on
Drawing on the reputation of Oxford, this authoritative dictionary surveys a English idioms with a British tilt, limiting its usefulness as an American English reference but offering many phrase origins.

This idiom dictionary only lists 5,000-plus entries, a limited scope made smaller for Americans or those studying American English because of the book's emphasis on British English. The dictionary assumes a more convenient trade paperback size, but its shortness makes it less reliable as a reference.

A smaller number of entries allows more room to share notes on the origins of idioms, however. This helps enhance the reader's understanding and retention of the idioms.

The authority and brevity of this idiom dictionary make it more useful to those who already speak English and are looking for a handy reference to satisfy mild curiosity. Students of English as a second language and communications professionals looking for a more complete reference should look elsewhere.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as Good as American Heritage April 8 2012
By Ohioan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not qualified to analyze whether this book is helpful to people who are learning English as a second language. But I have used many different idioms dictionaries, and this one, while not bad, is weak in the number of entries and in the shortness of the explanations of meaning, although I do find the little boxed features on origins very helpful. It's hard to know whether to rate this as 4 stars or 3. Ultimately I'd give it a 3.5 star rating if that were possible.
2.0 out of 5 stars Time waster Feb. 23 2013
By Don M. Moore - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I type in an idiom, even a common one, I am given dozens of locations to check out, and usually the idiom is not to be found in any of the offers. Apparently the system is not set up to dig up entries, but if the combination of words within the idiom are to be found in one or two adjacent sentences no matter the sequence, the location will be given as one I should check out. Given 6 at a time, it takes a considerable amount of time to go through 172 possibliities, only to find that none of them is the idiom, but merely a coincidental inclusion of all the words of the idiom within two adjacent, but disrelated sentences. Only once did the idiom I was looking for turn up, and it is a Canadian idiom I have not found in most other idioms dictionaries. That's what rated the two stars instead of none!
4.0 out of 5 stars The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms Feb. 8 2009
By KPRP - Published on
I think this title is a good starter for persons learning a new language. The English language is quite complex and this paperback may help to ease this pain.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of better idiom dictionaries out there Jan. 1 2010
By Todd Hagopian - Published on
If you are trying to learn the U.S. language, idioms, and slang, then there are better options out there for you. Try any of the other major dictionaries and they will work better for you. This one is written more for British-Americans and does not really teach you what you are looking for if you are buying for the purpose of learning about the English language. I hope that is helpful.

Have Fun!

Todd Hagopian
Hagopian Institute
Author of the popular "Quote Junkie" book sereies and the brand new "Idiom Junkie" series
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