Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs & Sayings
For thousands of years, proverbs have expressed universal truths concisely and memorably. And the creation of proverbs is an ongoing tradition: "Nice guys finish last". "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay under the porch". The Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings presents and explains these and 1,500 other celebrated expressions that are in use in America. Unlike other proverb dictionaries, the book also covers well-known expressions such as "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country", which originated in the 1860s as a typing exercise; "Damn the torpedos! Full speed ahead!", Admiral Farragut's exhortation in the Civil War; and "There's no business like show business". Each proverb or saying is given a definition (which can often change over the centuries), a discussion of its origins, including the earliest known example of the proverb in any language, the first appearance in English, and the first appearance in America; a list of variants; and commentary on frequency. But most notably, the entries are illustrated with thousands of examples taken from literature, newspapers and magazines, television, and even popular speech. Representing a wide spectrum of use - from Ernest Hemingway and Margaret Mitchell to Jackie Collins and Erich Segal - these examples show you how the expressions have been used in real contexts, and they are current up to the 1990s. An index by main word organizes all the entries in the book, so it's easy to find what you're looking for. A comprehensive guide to the most common proverbs and sayings in use today, the Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings is an entertaining and useful referencethat will amuse, entertain, and enlighten you.