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The Dictionary of Cliches
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The Dictionary of Cliches

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In a nutshell, here's a terrific A-TO-Z listing of the meanings and origins of over 2,000 common or particularly interesting cliches for everyone who delights in the pleasure of words.

"The best kind of reference book--one that amuses as it instructs. I fell for it hook, line, and sinker."--CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER
Mass Market Paperback, 369 pages
Published December 12th 1986 by Ballantine Books (first published 1985)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  124 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an entertaining sort of book for pulling out at odd moments or when you need a topic to talk about, or for me when I need reminding about lurrrve, when I kidnapped a guy, and handsome men who forge Chippendale chairs and that I once had a life.

I was sitting around the swimming pool in a marina, not looking glamorous in a bikini and owl-eye shades, but wearing beat-up shorts and flip-flops, sailor's clothes, when I noticed this man looking at me. Not my type, not really, so I didn't respo
Robby Hamlin
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with 30 seconds to spare
Shelves: writing, partly-read
it's one you have to keep is just so full of these little "-isms"
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love this book.
I am always looking at it to see if a phrase/chiche has another meaning or story behind it!
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book on cliches, and rather than just defining what one means, the author normally dedicates about a paragraph for the root explanation of how it came to be.

My only complaint is that I wish more were covered, and also, an updated version is needed as there is a lot of conflict online about the origins.

Here's an example of a cliche listed in the book:
Three Sheets to (in) the wind. Drunk. In a sailing vessel a "sheet" is a rope that controls a sail; if it is allowed to go slack it
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: r
This is a great reference book. It's fun to see where our sayings come from. I really like that it gives you what the saying means and it's history, i.e. where it came from.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting look at the origins of many well known phrases.
Brian Garrison
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
This manual is the bee's knees... unfortunately it does not contain the history of that cliched phrase.
Steven Burgauer
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Not as much fun as I had hoped.
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who knew "by and large" was derived from a nautical reference? Not I! At least until I read this tome of phrases we take for granted or never even ponder (unless you're like me).
Will Pender
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Who knew Shakespeare coined many of the phrases we use today? We owe him so much. This is a fun book to look at if you're just teensiest bit curious as to why we say the things we say.
Jun 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to know where those weird phrases in our language come from.
Great fun...
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those fun books that you just can't put down. It is a collection of various cliches put together in a humorous way. Something fun for any reader.
Feb 24, 2009 marked it as reference  ·  review of another edition
The dictionary of cliches by James T. Rogers (1985)
Tyler Hurst
Mar 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very boring, but it's a dictionary, so...

Quite useful, however.
Dustin C.
Good, but obviously incomplete.
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