1st Edition

Concise Thesaurus of Traditional English Metaphors

By P.R. Wilkinson Copyright 2008
    384 Pages
    by Routledge

    384 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This absorbing collection of metaphors includes a variety of expressions with figurative meanings, like similes, proverbs, slang and catchphrases. It is the result of a lifetime of work on dialect and metaphor and gives an overview of the folk wisdom expressed in figurative expressions. The author draws on his extensive contact with the rural cultures of Dorset, Cornwall, Yorkshire and Lancashire, but has also included a range of sayings from North America, Australia, Scotland and other English speaking countries.

    With revised contents and an improved index to make individual entries easier to find, the Concise can be used to check the meaning and the origin of an expression or to avoid mixed metaphors, anachronisms and incongruities. It is a joy to browse long after your original query has been answered.

    Part 1: The Human World  1. Human Relationships  2. Communications  3. The Body, Body-Care  4. Illness and Death  5. The Home, Calendar and Clocks  6. Housework  7. Food and Drink and its Preparation  8. Clothing  9. Work, Tools, Slavery  10. Poverty  11. Riches, Trade, Markets, Shopping  12. Town Life, Parks and Gardens  13. Farming, Farm-Work  14. Crafts and Skills, Industry, Machinery, Milling  15. The Imaginative, Spiritual and Intellectual Life  16. The Arts  17. Sports, Games and Entertainment  18. Travel  19. Beggars, Tramps  20. Criminals, the Law  21. Naval, Military, Royalist and Political Matters  Part 2: Nature and the Animal World  22. Skies, Landscapes  23. Woods  24. Wild Flora  25. Land Creatures  26. Water Creatures  27. Birds  28. Reptiles and Amphibians  29. Insects


    Dick Wilkinson is a retired forestry Commission worker who studied Classics, Old English and Old Norse at Cambridge University. Struck by how many words and phrases in English acquired their present meanings through metaphor, he started to note them down. The Thesaurus is the culmination of a lifetime’s study of the English language.

    Praise for The Consise Thesaurus of Traditional English Metaphors:

    ‘This book is a fascinating work and a great scholarly achievement. It is well worth browsing individual (sub-) sections, and there are interesting, surprising and often amusing discoveries to make. This book should find its place in many academic and reference libraries, and will be of interest for all those with an interest in cultural history, dialectology, folklore, English literature, language and linguistics.’ – www.linguistlist.org