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Allen's Dictionary of English Phrases. Home · Allen's Dictionary of Welsh and English Idiomatic Phrases Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. Allen's Dictionary of English Phrases is the most comprehensive survey of this area of the English language ever undertaken. Taking over PENGUIN REFERENCE. Allen's Dictionary of English Phrases. Robert Allen is an experienced lexicographer and writer on a wide range of language topics.
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Remember me Forgot password? How often we see men who have been nearly everything in the world outside the unelastic professions—directors and secretaries, clerks in all manner of offices, and managers of all sorts of schemes—knocking about from America to England, and from Australia to Japan; without specialty, but with a good general business faculty, understanding all about tare and tret and double entry and working up a business, they are the very embodiments of the popular saying, and are flung from pillar to post and from post to pillar , as a juggler flings his plates or balls from one hand to the other.
The phrase is thought to be a metaphor from the bounding and rebounding of the ball in real tennis, and was discussed by Sir James Murray during his editing of the Oxford English Dictionary , in Notes and Queries December , p. Murray commented as follows: Of twenty-two quotations between Lydgate and now before me, seventeen have the original and five the later form, three of the latter being in verse, and having post riming with tost , tossed , which was apparently the fons et origo of the transposition May I throw out the conjecture Retrieved from " https: English terms with audio links English lemmas English prepositional phrases English idioms English terms with obsolete senses English terms with quotations.