Oxford Dictionary of Allusions

guide to popular cultural references - old and new

Reference:
O.U.P.

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On 14 July 2009
Last modified:6 January 2016

Summary:

Cultural references explained

Allusions are a sort of cultural shorthand. If someone is ‘as rich as Croesus’, a comparison is being made with the sixth century BC King of Lydia, who was fabled for his wealth (and it’s pronounced Kree-Sus, by the way). The problem for most of us who haven’t had a classical education, is that many of these references might be lost on us. This completely new reference guide, the Oxford Dictionary of Allusions explains the meaning of allusions used in modern English – from Abaddon to Zorro.

Oxford Dictionary of AllusionsSee what I mean? You probably knew about the masked crusader, but like me, you would have to look up Abaddon to discover that it is ‘the angel of the bottomless pit’ from the Book of Revelation in the Bible. Topics are listed thematically – dancing, danger, darkness – and all entries are cross referenced in an index. The compilers have put a lot of emphasis on contemporary relevance – so although you get Adam and Eve plus Jason and the Argonauts, there are also entries on Cinderella, James Bond, Mary Poppins, and Al Capone. As with most books of this type, one of its chief pleasures is the opportunity to browse idly and come across unexpected gems. There’s everything here – from Barbara Cartland to Dido and Aeneas or from Morgan le Fay to Bridget Jones’s Diary.

© Roy Johnson 2005

Oxford Dictionary of Allusions   Buy the book at Amazon UK
Oxford Dictionary of Allusions   Buy the book at Amazon US


The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2nd edition 2005, pp.480, ISBN: 0198609191


English language links

Red button English Language – free guidance notes

Red button English Language 3.0

Red button Improve your Writing Skills


  • English Language 3.0 (.html)English Language 3.0

    English Language 3.0 tells you everything you need to know about English — language rules, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Improve your written style. Get rid of mistakes. Quiz questions and exercises help you to check your understanding. Learn how language works. Suitable for all levels – from beginners to advanced. Latest version allows you to […]

    Order English Language 3.0 English Language 3.0 @ £4.95

Buy from Amazon US     Buy from Amazon UK

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

If you found this article interesting you might want to Tell-A-Friend.

Tell A Friend
  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
  3. (required)
  4. (valid email required)
 

cforms contact form by delicious:days

Leave a Reply

 
 
 
 
 
 
css.php

Powered by eShop v.6