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The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms
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To 'put the cart before the horse' have 'the cheek of the devil' or be 'a pillar of society' are just a few of the many thousands of idioms that have become an integral part of the English language over the centuries. This practical guide takes a close look at a vast range of themes, providing clear and concise definitions and explaining how they should be used. At the same time, the dictionary's thematic arrangement makes it possible not only to study and compose all the idioms in a given subject area, but to match the right one to the right occasion whether in writing or in speech.
Clear explanations of the meaning of some 4,000 phrases
Grouped according to broad subject headings, such as colours, relations and sport, each of which is subdivided into keywords, such as purple, family and running
Background information about the origin of such expressions as cloud-cuckoo-land and Achilles' heel
Examples given of typical usage in everyday speech
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