"Bite the bullet", " get on the stick", "make no bones about it", " take the cake". The American Heritage(R) Dictionary of Idioms covers almost 10,000 expressions. Its main fare is, of course, idioms - groups of two or more words that together mean something different from the literal meaning of the individual words. In addition, this book discusses verb phrases such as " act up", "freeze out", and " get down", figures of speech such as "dark horse" and "blind as a bat", interjections and formulas like "says who" and " tough beans", common proverbs like a "bird in the hand", and slang terms such as "buy the farm" and "push up daisies". Each entry is defined and has an example sentence showing the expression in context. Most entries offer an explanation of the expression's literal meaning or origin and include information about its first appearance in English.