Widespread Idioms in Europe and Beyond. Volume II
The book continues the work of Widespread Idioms in Europe and Beyond (2012) and also brings new insights into the similarities of the European languages. Using comprehensive data from 78 European and some non-European languages, another 280 “widespread idioms” have been analyzed in terms of their distribution and origins. They are arranged according to their source domains (for example, performing arts, sports, history, war, technology, money, folk belief, medical skills, gestures, and nature). Among them are very modern layers of a common figurative lexicon, including quotes of personalities of recent times. Thorough research on the sources of these idioms goes beyond the entries in relevant reference works and brings new and unpredictable results. All of the data in this book adds new knowledge to the fields of language and culture. We now know which Europe-wide common idioms actually constitute a “Lexicon of Common Figurative Units” and which chronological and cultural layers they may be assigned to. The question about the causes of the wide spread of idioms across many languages now can partly be answered.
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List of Maps
Chapter 1: Introduction
Map 1: Languages of the project “Widespread idioms in Europe and beyond” 15
Map 2: Lesser-used languages of the project “Widespread idioms in Europe and beyond” 17
Chapter 2: Theater, Music, Sports and Games
Map 3: Equivalents of “to play a role” in European languages 34
Map 4: Equivalents of “a blow below the belt” in European languages 50
Chapter 3: History and War
Map 5: Equivalents of “to cut the Gordian knot” in European languages 80
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