By Robert Allen
"Allen's Dictionary of English words" is the main finished survey of this sector of the English language ever undertaken. taking on 6000 words, it explains their that means, explores their improvement and offers citations that diversity from the Venerable Bede to Will Self. Crisply and wittily written, this ebook is choked with memorable and mind-blowing aspect, no matter if displaying that 'salad days' comes from Antony and Cleopatra, that 'flavour of the month' originates in Nineteen Forties American ice cream advertising, or perhaps that we have now been 'calling a spade a spade' because the 16th century. "Allen's Dictionary of English words" is a part of the "Penguin Reference Library" and attracts on over 70 years of expertise in bringing trustworthy, worthwhile and transparent info to hundreds of thousands of readers world wide - making wisdom everybody's estate.
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Extra info for Allen's Dictionary of English Phrases
E. ’ This sense survives in modern informal use. 16th cent. put on an act to make an elaborate show or pretence. Mid 20th cent. Monica Dickens Happy Prisoner 1946 This girl’s not naturally like that. She’s putting on an act. See also act one’s age; act the goat; a class act; play/act the fool; read the RIOT act. action actions speak louder than words (proverb) it’s what people do that matters, not what they say they will do. 17th cent. Hannah Foster The Coquette 1797 I go on finely with my amour.
Hannah Foster The Coquette 1797 I go on finely with my amour. I have every encouragement that I could wish. Indeed my fair one does not verbally declare in my favor; but then, according to the vulgar proverb, that actions speak louder than words, I have no reason to complain. action stations a state of readiness: originally (in singular and plural) the positions taken by a military force preparing for military action. Early 20th cent. Michael Munn Hollywood Rogues 1991 Bogie was very cool and returning insults with a smile while Mayo was rising in anger and waiters were circling warily around taking up action stations.
This is true of be cruel to be kind and this mortal coil (both from Hamlet), one’s pound of flesh (from The Merchant of Venice), and one’s salad days (from Antony and Cleopatra). Readers will understand that the dates normally given in these cases are of the allusive uses, and only exceptionally of the original use (for example, in cases where this does not differ markedly in form or sense from the later uses). Some other special kinds of phrase are worth mentioning as they form an important part of the picture.