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The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms

Un libro in lingua di Christine Ammer edito da Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013

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Bite the bullet, make no bones about it, take the cake. Expressions like these abound in English, yet they can’t be understood literally based solely on the meanings of the words they’re made up of. The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms is a detailed exploration of these and other idiomatic expressions, including phrasal verbs such as kick back, proverbs such as too many cooks spoil the broth, interjections such as tough beans, and figures of speech such as dark horse and push up daisies. Among the surprises in store as readers peruse the pages of this book are the fact that the seemingly modern term person of color actually dates from the late 1700s; that mutual admiration society was coined by Henry David Thoreau; that in 18th-century Britain birthday suit referred to the clothes one wore on the king’s birthday; and that the origins of on the up-and-up, put the kibosh on, and the whole nine yards are unknown. The first edition of the American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms was notable not only for its wealth of information but also for the perceptiveness and wit with which it provided cultural and historical context to its definitions. Now, fifteen years after the publication of that first edition, author Christine Ammer has extensively revised and expanded her original text to keep up both with historical scholarship and with ongoing changes in the English language. The result is an up-to-date dictionary that defines over 10,000 idiomatic expressions in greater detail than any other dictionary available today.

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