"The Penguin Dictionary of Proverbs" is a reference book in which the word "proverb" is interpreted as a statement or maxim that contains advice (e.g. "many hand make light work"), a belief ("beauty is in the eye of the beholder"), or a general observation of some aspect of life or nature ("absence makes the heart grow fonder"). The dictionary contains approximately 6000 proverbs arranged under such thematic headings such as absence, beauty, caution, knowledge, love and weather. Some proverbs will be listed under more than one heading. Within each thematic category, proverbs will be arranged in groups that express various aspects of the theme. Explanations of the proverbs are given only if the meaning is ambiguous or totally obscure, if a dialect word is used, or if the proverb is a foreign phrase requiring translation. A few of the proverbs may be actual quotations from literature or the Bible. This collection of over 6,000 proverbs, drawn from a variety of cultures and languages, also includes explanations of how proverbs came into being.
Rosalind Fergusson, a former teacher, is a freelance writer and editor with a wide range of reference books to her name. She lives in Kent with her husband David and occupies her leisure time with walking, sailing, literature and music.