Brewer's dictionary of phrase & fable
'...there's never a dull moment to be had with this great, daft, pointless, wonderful brick of a book' - Amazon.co.uk First published in 1870, Ebenezer Cobham Brewer's treasury of 'words that have a story to tell' is one of the world's best-loved reference books. At the heart of the dictionary lie entries on the meaning and origin of a vast range of words and expressions, from everyday English phrases to Latin tags.
For the 17th edition of Brewer's, new editor John Ayto has revised and updated the existing text and added 1500 new articles.
The latter include recent words and phrases (Al-Qaeda, 9/11), characters, places (and monsters) from recent fantasy literature (including The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter), famous political and sporting nicknames (Butcher of Baghdad, Goldenballs) and - continuing the century-old Brewer's practice of recording unexpected and fascinating information not available in other general reference books - 'list entries' as diverse as misattributed quotations, first lines of novels, French/Spanish/German/Italian idioms and the 'etymologies' of rock group names.