The English language contains a vast store of idioms that can be used in creative and forceful ways. This totally revised and greatly expanded edition of Dictionary of Idioms examines over 500 such phrases, tracing each one's source and history through a rich supply of examples. New entries include 'playing fast and loose' (from a 16th-century fairground game), 'head over heels' (a totally illogical variation on the more sensible 'heels over head') and 'knee-high to a grasshopper' (which won out over knee-high to a mosquito and knee-high to a toad). Mini-essays scattered through the book enable the authors to expand on such broader themes as: What is an Idiom?, National Rivalries and the Old Curiosity Shop of Linguistics. While maintaining scholarly accuracy, Linda and Roger Flavell convey their great love of the curious in language in a way that will be irresistible to anyone who delights in words.
Linda and Roger Flavell have been studying the oddities of English for over 25 years. Linda has a degree in modern languages and subsequent qualifications in secondary and primary teaching. Roger has many years of experience working for London University's Institute of Education, concerned latterly with education and international development, and with online education. He is now an educational consultant. Linda and Roger Flavell's other books for Kyle Cathie are A Dictionary of English Down the Ages, Dictionary of Word Origins and Dictionary of Proverbs.