12 October 2006

Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

This is a paperback cut-down version of the complete Oxford Dictionary of Phrase & Fable. It contains over 10,000 phrases, sayings, and allusions - including single words and names that crop up in cultural references - and offers a brief explanation of their meanings and origins. Entries run from Aaron and abacus to Zoroastrianism, Zorro, and Zwinglian - respectively a monotheistic pre-Islamic religion, a Californian-Spanish Robin Hood, and a supporter of the sixteenth century Swiss protestant reformer. It includes terms from the classical world of Greece and Rome, as well as other mythologies and religious beliefs - including folk customs, superstitions, and other forms of popular beliefs, as well as factual history and common record. So, there are potted biographies of St Lawrence, the Christian martyr, as well as Lazarus, the man who rather miraculously rose from the dead. Ulysses sits fairly closely alongside the Unnabomber - which suggests to me that this book would be a fairly useful resource for crossword puzzlers and participants in my local pub quiz ... Read more >>

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