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Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase And Fable 17th Edition


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Table of Contents

New entries include: * words and phrases (bling, where the bodies are buried); * characters and places from fantasy literature and film - including The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter (Gollum, Hogwarts, Obi-Wan Kenobi); * political, celebrity and sporting nicknames (Butcher of Baghdad, Chemical Ali, Forces' sweetheart); * miscellaneous arcana (Chorasmian Waste, dilligrout, flummadiddle).

Promotional Information

A brand-new edition of a classic reference book. The first port of call for tens of thousands of terms, phrases and proper names, and a fund of fascinating and out-of-the-way information. 20,000 entries and 1500 pages (including 1500 new entries), make this the biggest - and the best - Brewer's ever. New editor John Ayto is one of the UK's most respected lexicographers, and a specialist in word and phrase etymology. New word and phrase entries include Beckingham Palace, been there done that, compassion fatigue, Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells, frighten the horses and hissy fit. New 'fable' entries include Aragorn, Gormenghast, Hannibal Lecter, Hogwarts and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

About the Author

John Ayto is a writer and lexicographer and the co-author of Brewer's Britain and Ireland (W & N, May 2005). His authorial credits include The Oxford Dictionary of Rhyming Slang and The Bloomsbury Dictionary of Word Origins. He lives in London.


"the first book I ever bought for myself. It cost 10s and 6d which is a little over 50p. I've twice been asked to write introductions for later editions, which is like some little Scottish schoolboy being a caddy at St Andrews and later on being invited as a champion golfer" -- Terry Pratchett "I still feel affection for old Brewer, the "dictionary of last resort". Want to know how to write in Ogham? Or what a hymen really is?" -- Simon Winchester "An invaluable reference tool of extraordinary breadth."

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