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The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms
The Most Comprehensive Collection of Idiomatic Expressions and Phrases
by Christine Ammer

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms is a comprehensive and up-to-date collection of nearly 10,000 idiomatic words and phrases. Each idiom is clearly defined and illustrated with at least one example sentence or quotation. Many of the entries contain the idiom's origin and list when the idiom came into the English language. In additon, The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms discusses verbal phrases such as act up, figures of speech such asdark horse, interjections and formulas like says who and take care, metaphors such as snow job, common proverbs like a bird in the hand, and slang terms such as buy the farm

Key Features:

• Nearly 10,000 entries
• Produced in consultation with the editors of The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition this database is a storehouse of fascinating and useful information.

Technical Specs:

Available Electronic

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American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms, The

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Sample Entry:

cry over spilt milk, don’t   Also, no use crying over spilt milk. Don’t regret what cannot be undone or rectified, as in The papers you wanted went out in last week’s trash, so don’t cry over spilt milk. This metaphor for the inability to recover milk once it has been spilled is very old indeed, already appearing as a proverb in James Howell’s Paroimiografia (1659). It is sometimes shortened to spilt milk.

double talk   1. Meaningless speech, gibberish mixing real and invented words. For example, Some popular songs are actually based on double talk. [1930s] 2. Also, doublespeak. Deliberately ambiguous and evasive language. For example, I got tired of her double talk and demanded to know the true story or His press secretary was very adept at doublespeak. This usage dates from the late 1940s, and the variant from about 1950.

labor of love   Work done for one’s satisfaction rather than monetary reward. For example, The research took three years but it was a labor of love. This expression appears twice in the New Testament (Hebrews 6:10, Thessalonians 1:3), referring to those who do God’s work as a labor of love. [c. 1600]

see through rose-colored glasses   Also, look through rose-colored glasses. Take an optimistic view of something, as in Kate enjoys just about every activity; she sees the world through rose-colored glasses, or If only Marvin wouldn’t be so critical, if he could look through colored glasses once in a while, he’d be much happier. The adjectives rosy and rose-colored been used in the sense of "hopeful" or “optimistic" since the 1700s; the current idiom dates from the 1850s

Snake in the grass   A treacherous person, as in Ben secretly applied for the same job as his best friend; no one knew he was such a snake in the grass. This metaphor for treachery, alluding to a poisonous snake concealed in tall grass, was used in 37 B.C. by the Roman poet Vergil (latet anguis in herba). It was first recorded in English in 1696 as the title of a book by Charles Leslie.