The Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms offers a fresh look at the idiomatic phrases and sayings that make English the rich language that it is. The third edition contains entries for over 6,000 idioms, including 700 entirely new entries, based on Oxford's language monitoring programs and the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. These include a range of idioms such as "the elephant in the corner," "go figure," "step up to the plate," "a walk in the park," and "win ugly." Many entries include more detailed background on the idiom in question. For example, did you know that 'taken aback' was adopted from nautical terminology that described a ship unable to move forward because of a strong headwind pressing its sails back against the mast?
The book lists national variants, so we learn that while in America they say "all over the map," in Britain they say "all over the shop." This edition also features a greatly increased number of cross-references, making it ideal for quick reference. Anyone interested in the colorful side of the English language will have hours of fun browsing this fascinating and informative volume.