I am deeply grateful to the Good Book Guide for having advertised my Penguin dictionary in their guides so many times over the years. It is largely thanks to them that my book has been so successful. In 2015 the Good Book Guide sadly closed but in January 2016 Lovereading UK acquired the Good Book’s substantial review archive and domain name. Here are two reviews from the Good Book Guide, quoted with permission from Lovereading.



Our thanks to the Financial Times for the following notice, which was spotted in the post room of a London publishing company:


‘This department requires no physical fitness programme: everyone gets enough exercise jumping to conclusions, flying off the handle, running down the boss, flogging dead horses, dodging responsibility and pushing their luck!’


     Subscribers who find this notice puzzling might appreciate The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms, which our reviewer found ‘most useful for learners of English, but also fascinating browsing for native speakers.’ The Good Book Guide.


Here is another review from the Good Book Guide:


The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms by Daphne M. Gulland and David Hinds-Howell


English is full of pitfalls for the learner, but perhaps the biggest puzzle, both in conversation and in reading, is the wide range of idioms used unthinkingly by native speakers: ‘raining cats and dogs’, ‘say boo to a goose’, ‘read the riot act’, couldn’t run a whelk stall’. This handy book treats thousands of such idioms – not current slang or colloquialisms, but expressions with special (often metaphorical) meanings that cannot be inferred from their separate parts, with notes on their meaning and origin and guidance on usage. The editors categorize them by ‘key word’, e.g. Colours, Animals, Names (from literature, politics, etc), Games and Sports, thus revealing some interesting comparisons and contrasts (cf. hold water, tread water, pass water, and water down), as well as making them easier for the student to master. There is also a good alphabetical index. This book is simply written, and is obviously most useful for learners of English, but it also makes fascinating browsing for native speakers.   





     To my mind, (writes Rosemary Horobin), it stands to reason that The Dictionary of English Idioms by Daphne Gulland and David Hinds-Howell (Penguin) makes the mind boggle.

     In all conscience and to all intents and purposes – and I don’t think I suffer from intellectual myopia – this book speaks volumes.

     No stone is left unturned. Not for those with intellectual myopia but for those wanting the gift of the gab and the desire to speak the Queen’s English!

     Just 11 examples from this most useful new paperback.  Southern Evening Echo.


Dictionary of English Idioms by Daphne Gulland and David G Hinds-Howell (Penguin). You may know what it means to mind your p’s and q’s, but do you know what the p’s and q’s actually are? They’re the type that old-fashioned printers used to have to set up (well, some still do!), and it was easy to muddle them up. Lots of other little wrinkles of language explored in this excellent book. Kati Nicholl, Pick of the Paperbacks, Today Newspaper.


Quaint though they might be, for foreigners, and many English people too, English idioms can be a nightmare. The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms explains how making mincemeat of someone has nothing to do with stuffing them into a mincer. Why you do not have to searching on your hands and knees if a person has lost their tongue, and how on earth you can knock the corners off someone.

     Daphne Gulland and David G Hinds-Howell successfully portray just how bizarre the English language can be. There are 22 chapters, each with separate headings such as Food, Fish and Ships.  Craig Henderson, Evening Chronicle, Oldham.



Many readers have reviewed my Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms on


I would like to thank you all very much indeed for going to all the trouble of writing a review of my book. I am deeply honoured. Thank you.