Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

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Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer
Originally published in 1870 by the Reverend E. Cobham Brewer, it was aimed at the growing number of people who did not have a university education, but wanted to understand the origins of phrases and historical or literary allusions. The 'phrase' part of the title refers mainly to the explanation of various idioms and proverbs, while the 'fable' part might more accurately be labelled 'folklore' and ranges from classical mythology to relatively recent literature. On top of this, Brewer added notes on important historical figures and events, and other things which he thought would be of interest, such as Roman numerals.
Excerpted from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Giving the Derivation, Source, or Origin of Common Phrases, Allusions, and Words That Have a Tale to Tell



A to All-hallown Summer
All Hallow's Day to Assurance
Astag'oras to Az'ymites
B to Bell Savage
Bell-the-Cat to Boat
Boatswain to Bull-ring
Bull's Eye to Byzan'tines
C to Cau'telous
Cau'ther to Coat
Coat of Arms to Cover
Covers were laid for to Cypriote
D to Dittoes
Divan' to Dyz'emas Day
E to Extreme Unction
Extremes Meet to Ezzelin
F to Flesh-pots
Fleshed to Futile
G to Goodman's Croft
Goodman's Fields to Gytrash
H to Hin'der
Hindustan to Hys'teron Prot'eron
I to Ixi'on
J. (In Punch) to Juveniles
K to Kyrle Society
L to Ligurian Arts
Ligurian Republic to Lyttelton
M to Max O'Rell
Max'imum and Minimum to Morrice
Morris Dance to Mysterious Three
N to Ny'se
O to Oz.
P to Phar'amond
Pha'raoh to Pria'pus
Prick-eared to Py'thon
Q to Quotem
R to Roodselken
Rook to Rython
S to Seven Years' War
Several to Sop
Soph to Symbolism of Metals and Gems
Syrens of the Ditch to Syrtis
T to Tour
Tour de Force to Tyrtæus
U.S. to Uz'ziel
V to VXL
Wa'bun to Wyo'ming
X to Xu'ry
Y to Y'veto't
Za'bian to Zulfa'gar

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.