The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions

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Oxford University Press, 2001 - Reference - 453 pages
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Allusions give us a marvelous literary shorthand, drawing on our collective knowledge of literature, mythology, and the Bible to help us describe people, places, feelings, and events. A miser is a Scrooge, a strong man is a Samson or a Hercules, a beautiful woman is a Venus or a modern-day Helen of Troy. We can suffer like Sisyphus or linger like the smile of the Cheshire Cat.
Ranging from classical mythology to modern movies and TV shows, this new reference work explains the meanings of the allusions in use in modern English, from Abaddon to Zorro, Tartarus to Tarzan, and Rubens to Rambo. Based on an extensive reading program that has identified the most commonly used allusions, this fascinating volume includes numerous quotations to illustrate usage, from a range of authors and sources, from Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens to Bridget Jones's Diary. Moreover, the dictionary is thematically structured, so that readers not only can look up Medea to find out who she was and how her name is used as an allusion, but also can look up the theme of "Revenge" and find, alongside Medea, entries for other figures used to allude to revenge, such as The Furies or The Count of Monte Cristo.

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User Review  - Big_Bang_Gorilla - LibraryThing

This book takes a more 'modern' approach to allusions; it almost seems directed more at a very educated reader who has absolutely no grasp of 20th-century pop culture than the more traditional ... Read full review

About the author (2001)

Andrew Delahunty is a freelance lexicographer and dictionary editor. His publications include 'The Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture' (1992), 'The Oxford Guide to English Usage' (with Edmund Weiner, 1994), 'The Longman Business English Dictionary' (2000), and 'The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary' (6th edn, 2000/1?). Sheila Dignen is a freelance lexicographer whose has worked on 'The Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture' (1992), 'The Dorling Kindersley Illustrated Children's Dictionary' (1994), 'The Chambers Junior Illustrated Dictionary' (1997), and 'The Longman Business English Dictionary' (2000). Penelope Stock is a freelance lexicographer. She has contributed to 'The Longman New Universal Dictionary' (1982), 'The Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture' (1992), 'The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of English' (1995), and 'The Encarta World English Dictionary' (1999). Andrew Delahunty is a freelance lexicographer and dictionary editor.

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