Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

Was perusing another Christmas gift last night, Terry Pratchett’s ‘A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Nonfiction’ (some very amusing writing by the way), when Neil Gaiman in the introduction, and Terry by the third article in, both mentioned Reverend E. Cobham Brewer’s ‘Dictionary of Phrase and Fable’, first published in 1870, as one of their main reference works.

I googled said work and am astonished to learn such a depository of knowledge has existed for over a century and I am only just learning about it! New Year’s resolution – obtain at least one edition of this book, possible more by month’s end!

Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

Comments: 9
  • Ezra Yesterday January 12, 2015 17:13

    I just found and purchased a 1956 edition online for 10 bucks including shipping…
    There is also another book by him called A Guide to the Scientific Knowledge of Things Familiar in the Amazon Kindle store for free.

  • Just Justine January 12, 2015 19:56

    I guess it depended on the individual, and also their status in society as to how much leisure time they had?
    Much like today. It’s all about how one wishes to spend said leisure time.
    There is no end to discovery.

  • Just Justine January 13, 2015 07:50

    I think you forgot the ‘eys’. after all, isn’t it a known fact that a room full of them wrote for Shakespeare?

  • Just Justine January 14, 2015 07:25

    I suppose monks had nothing better to do with their time besides praying, transcribing books and making wine/beer.
    Guess they had to keep busy, idle hands and all that.
    I read where if it wasn’t for them, civilization may have been lost during the middle (dark?) ages, being some of the few who knew how to read, write and experiment on peas. 🙂

  • Just Justine January 14, 2015 14:42

    Looking at that brought this to mind-
    Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,
    Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old;
    Some like it hot, some like it cold,
    Some like it in the pot, nine days old.

    So what’s the expiration date on pease porridge? Is it safe to eat after nine days in the pot? Doesn’t sound very appetizing.

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