Cover image for The Facts on File dictionary of proverbs
Title:
The Facts on File dictionary of proverbs
Author:
Manser, Martin H.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, Inc., [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
viii, 440 pages ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
Subject Term:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780816046072

9780816046089
Format :
Book

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PN6421 .M36 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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Summary

Summary

A proverb is a saying, usually short, that expresses a general truth about life. Proverbs give advice, make an observation, or present a lesson in a succinct and memorable way. The Facts On File Dictionary of Proverbs includes more than 1,500 English-language proverbs that are widely recognized today. Arranged alphabetically, entries provide the meaning of each proverb, the date it was first recorded, variant forms of the proverb, other proverbs that are similar and opposite to it in meaning, and examples of the proverb's use.


Author Notes

Martin H. Manser lives in England.


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

This attractive and useful resource book focuses on commonly used expressions in the English language and in English literature. There is no attempt to be culturally inclusive. Each entry is arranged alphabetically on a two-column page. The boldface proverb precedes a concisely written definition and factually documented origin of the saying. There's no rose without a thorn typifies the basic structure of each entry: namely, definition, example of use, origins, variant expressions, cross-references, and proverbs with similar or opposite meanings. Each entry varies in length according to available source material and popularity of expression. The editorial consistency is rare and a credit to the skillful selection and editing techniques of Manser, who also compiled The Facts On File Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases [RBB Ag 02], among other works. An index of key words and an index of themes complete this valuable addition to the Facts On File Library of Language and Literature, which is recommended for public and academic libraries. Libraries looking for a more comprehensive guide can turn to Wolfgang Mieder's A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Oxford, 1991), with approximately 15,000 entries, while those who want representation of other cultures should consider the Cassell Dictionary of Proverbs (1998) or Multicultural Dictionary of Proverbs (McFarland, 1997).


Library Journal Review

Proverbs, as distinct from aphorisms, epigrams, maxims, and slogans, are complete, standalone thoughts that figure largely in our conversation and our literature. Manser (Facts On File Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases), who has published numerous scholarly books and articles on language and proverbs in particular, here includes 1500 brief entries, all found in written English from the earliest times to the present. Arranged alphabetically, each entry succinctly elucidates the meaning of a common proverb, including origin, variant forms, and examples of usage, e.g., "to err is human, to forgive divine" is derived from an early Latin text and appears in an essay by Alexander Pope in 1711, while the more familiar "boys seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses" is often attributed to Ogden Nash but actually originated with Dorothy Parker. With 15,000 entries, Wolfgang Mieder's magisterial A Dictionary of American Proverbs is a major (if somewhat older) resource. But while Manser's work is not exhaustive, it is an exceptional ready-reference source, comparing favorably with such classic collections as The Penguin Dictionary of Proverbs and various Oxford publications by virtue of its conciseness and engaging style. Recommended for all library collections.-Richard K. Burns, M.S.L.S., Hatboro, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 5 Up-A handy reference book containing more than 1500 pithy and familiar sayings from ancient times through to the present day. Each alphabetically arranged expression is printed in boldface and followed by a short explanation of its meaning, an example from literature or elsewhere, mention of its origin and variants, and the year it was first recorded, if known. Cross-references and proverbs with similar or different meanings are included when appropriate. Indexes by keyword and by theme complete the work. Informative and easy to use for assignments and for browsing, this is a fine example of the adage, "a book is like a garden carried in the pocket."-Pat Bender, The Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Manser's latest dictionary compares favorably with John Simpson's Concise Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (CH, Mar'93; 3rd ed., 1998) and Gregory Titelman's Random House Dictionary of America's Popular Proverbs and Sayings (2nd ed., 2002) and complements both. The approximately 1,500 American and British proverbs it includes are more commonly formal, conventional, and historical than idiomatic or slang contemporary. Though the compilers give no explicit criteria for inclusion, the introduction supplies literary, historical, contemporary, political, and biblical examples that suggest the work's scope. Each entry contains fairly extensive explanations of the proverb, examples of usage, origin or first recorded usage, and variations. Unfortunately, sources are not specifically cited in the bibliography, so those researching proverbs in depth may find other works more useful. Proverbs are presented by the first word of the proverb and indexed by keyword and theme; both indexes are helpful since it can be difficult to identify the first word of a proverb because of regional and cultural variations in the wording. Proverb explanations, origins, cross-references, and indexes make this work a useful addition to dictionaries of proverbs. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Undergraduate and public libraries. M. F. Battistella University of South Dakota


Excerpts

Excerpts

A proverb is a saying, usually short, that expresses a general truth about life. Proverbs give advice, make an observation, or present a lesson in a succinct and memorable way. We use proverbs or allude to them quite often in everyday speech: Better safe than sorry; The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence; If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. The Facts On File Dictionary of Proverbs includes more than 1,500 English-language proverbs that are widely recognized today. Arranged alphabetically, entries provide the meaning of each proverb, the date it was first recorded, variant forms of the proverb, other proverbs that are similar and opposite to it in meaning, and examples of the proverb's use. This fascinating dictionary will provide readers and students with insight into this unique aspect of our language. Proverbs covered include: Absence makes the heart grow fonder Actions speak louder than words A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush Every man is his own worst enemy It takes a village to raise a child Pride goes before a fall The leopard can't change its spots Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown You never know a man until you live with him. Excerpted from The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs by Martin H. Manser All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.