"Allen's Dictionary of English Phrases" is the most comprehensive survey of this area of the English language ever undertaken. Taking over 6000 phrases, it explains their meaning, explores their development and gives citations that range from the Venerable Bede to Will Self. Crisply and wittily written, the book is packed with memorable and surprising detail, whether showing that 'salad days' comes from Antony and Cleopatra, that 'flavour of the month' originates in 1940s American ice cream marketing, or even that we've been 'calling a spade a spade' since the sixteenth century. "Allen's Dictionary of English Phrases" is part of the Penguin Reference Library and draws on over 70 years of experience in bringing reliable, useful and clear information to millions of readers around the world making knowledge everybody's property.
Robert Allen edited a major new edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary, was an associate editor of the Oxford Companion to English Language and directed work on Chambers 21st Century Dictionary. He has written an updated version of Fowler's Modern English Usage and has contributed articles on the modern use of English in English Today. He is the consultant editor for all Penguin English Dictionaries.