If you have ever wondered what it is like to be at sixes or sevens or to raise hob with someone, NTC’s American Idioms Dictionary is the place to look for answers. Containing more than 8,500 idiomatic phrases commonly occurring in daily conversation in the U.S., this third edition, with more than 600 new senses, defines our many baffling and confusing expressions. Although word origins are not given, this source focuses on what the users need to know: the meaning, usage, and the appropriate contexts for each idiomatic phrase.Several features make this dictionary easy and appealing to use. An introductory chapter clearly and thoroughly provides strategies to assist in finding a phrase or expression. Entries are arranged alphabetically by first word of the phrase. Some definitions are followed by comments that explain variations of the phrase and what the phrase refers to. The idiom is used in a sample sentence, and should the idiom have an alternate meaning, additional sentences are given. Definitions are further enhanced by cross-references and labels such as “folksy” and “informal.” A convenient “Phrase-Finder Index” uses any keyword–noun, verb, adjective, or adverb–to guide in the location of a hard-to-find idiom. An appendix lists 500 irreversible binomials and trinomials, the two or three words always stated in a fixed order (e.g., before and after; heart and soul; hook, line, and sinker ).Several other recent dictionaries of idiomatic phrases are available. The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms (1997) surveys more than 10,000 expressions and provides approximate dates of first use and histories. The Cassell Dictionary of English Idioms [RBB O 1 00] defines approximately 10,000 idioms used in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and the British Isles. The NTC entry is a solid choice for libraries needing an up-to-date, reasonably priced resource that focuses on American English.
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