Cliches: Over 1500 Phrases Explored And Explained

Paperback | January 15, 1999

byBetty Kirkpatrick

not yet rated|write a review

Betty Kirkpatrick has complied and exhaustive dictionary--a must for writers, crossword puzzle buffs, and anyone who is intrigued by language.

Sample entries from Cliches

Let the cat out of the bag is an idiom cliche meaning to reveal a secret. In origin it refers allegedly to a fairground tick by which traders sold unwary buyers a cat in a bag, assuring them it was a pig. The buyers did not realize their mistake until they let the cat out of the back, by which time it was too late.

Bite the bullet is an idiom cliche meaning to steel oneself to accept something distressing. In origin it probably refers to the days before anesthesia, when soldiers wounded in battle were given a lead bullet to bite on to brace themselves against the pain of surgery.

Fly off the handle is an idiom cliche meaning to lose one's temper. Originally American, the expression has its origin in an ax or hammer, the handle of which becomes loosened and flies off after it has struck a blow.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$21.94 online
$24.95 list price (save 12%)
In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

Betty Kirkpatrick has complied and exhaustive dictionary--a must for writers, crossword puzzle buffs, and anyone who is intrigued by language.Sample entries from ClichesLet the cat out of the bag is an idiom cliche meaning to reveal a secret. In origin it refers allegedly to a fairground tick by which traders sold unwary buyers a cat ...

From the Jacket

Cliches: the bad guys of the English language, overused, abused, and sniffed at by school teachers? Or do they receive bad press? Are they actually an irreplaceable form of linguistic shorthand? Betty Kirkpatrick, an editor of Roget's Thesaurus, has exhaustively researched and compiled a list of our most common phrases, presented alpha...

Betty Kirkpatrick is a writer and lexicographer. Editor of both the Bloomsbury Thesaurus and Roget's Thesaurus, she was formerly editor of the Chambers Twentieth-Century Dictionary. She lives in Scotland.

other books by Betty Kirkpatrick

NTC's English Idioms Dictionary
NTC's English Idioms Dictionary

Paperback|Oct 21 1991

$21.94 online$21.95list price
Treacle, Toast and Tweed ... English Word Origins for Language Lovers
Treacle, Toast and Tweed ... English Word Origins for L...

Kobo ebook|Aug 5 2015

$5.39 online$6.99list price(save 22%)
see all books by Betty Kirkpatrick
Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.32 × 5.52 × 0.56 inPublished:January 15, 1999Publisher:St. Martin's Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312198442

ISBN - 13:9780312198442

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Cliches: Over 1500 Phrases Explored And Explained

Reviews