English Idioms: A Review of Recognition Criteria

Jowitt, David (1994)

Book chapter

In this paper David Jowitt attempts to review the characteristics by which an idiom may be recognised. After exploring the various ways in which the term 'idiom' has been used by scholars and in dictionaries, he observes that the set of properties often used to define the idiom are insufficient. However drawing inspiration from the various terms, descriptions and classification of previous works, Jowitt goes on to list four necessary properties of idioms. These should form the basis for the compilation of a new dictionary of idioms, including particularly the dictionary that would meet the special needs of teachers and learners of English in Nigeria.