By Robert Allen
"Allen's Dictionary of English words" is the main finished survey of this zone of the English language ever undertaken. taking up 6000 words, it explains their that means, explores their improvement and offers citations that diversity from the Venerable Bede to Will Self. Crisply and wittily written, this publication is full of memorable and remarkable aspect, no matter if displaying that 'salad days' comes from Antony and Cleopatra, that 'flavour of the month' originates in Forties American ice cream advertising and marketing, or maybe that now we have been 'calling a spade a spade' because the 16th century. "Allen's Dictionary of English words" is a part of the "Penguin Reference Library" and attracts on over 70 years of expertise in bringing trustworthy, important and transparent info to hundreds of thousands of readers world wide - making wisdom everybody's estate.
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Additional info for Allen's Dictionary of English Phrases
Early 20th cent. abdabs give somebody the (screaming) abdabs informal to make somebody feel extremely agitated or irritated: abdabs (or habdabs) is a fanciful word of elusive origin, or more likely of no origin at all, being plain invention. Late 20th cent. about know what one is about informal to be well aware of what one is doing or what is happening and its implications. that’s about it an expression of relief or satisfaction at the conclusion of a task or discussion. The notion is that everything has been done or considered, although there is often the implication that more might have been done, given the opportunity.
Have/hold all the aces to have all the advantages. Late 20th cent. The Times 1985 Bairn, runner-up to Shaweed in the 2,000 Guineas and the fluent winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes at Ascot, went smoothly into the lead a quarter of a mile out but it was immediately obvious that Starkey was holding all the aces in the shape of Rousillon’s superior speed. play one’s ace (card) to use a decisive argument or stratagem. This uses the same image as an ace up one’s sleeve above. Late 20th cent. Guardian 1985 Hopes in the White House that Mr Reagan’s illness would encourage the Congress to pass the budget this week out of sympathy for his plight appear to have been dashed, though there were hints yesterday that the President may still play his ace card – a presidential phone call.
A classifies the hull of the ship and 1 classifies its stores. 19th cent. ’ ‘Nothing but it,’ said Mr. Roker. ’ ‘He must be a first-rater,’ said Sam. ‘A 1,’ replied Mr. Roker. from A to B from one place to another, representing a whole journey from the starting-point (A) to the destination (B). Occasionally used figuratively about lengthy tasks and ventures that are compared to journeys. 18th cent. T Mathias The Pursuits of Literature 1798 Be regular: from A to B proceed; I hate your zig-zag verse, and wanton heed.