'Big society' passes Brewer's test

Big society, Chipping Norton set, app and tablet are just some of the phrases to make it into the latest edition of the Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.

Lord's Sugar's famous catchphrase "You're fired" and children's book character the Gruffalo also feature in the book.

For the first time, the new Brewer's contains an intriguing supplement called Brewer's Gems - facts, fables and curiosities from Brewer collections of the past since its first edition in 1870.

Brewer's Gems lists esoteric and entertaining entries, from curious customs to intriguing expressions, strange beliefs and superstitions and political alliances of yesteryear.

Many new phrases to appear in the 19th edition of the dictionary refer to the state of the economy in the country, such as double-dip, downsize and quantitative easing, while other more light-hearted additions include meh and mash up.

It has been edited by Countdown dictionary expert Susie Dent, who has written a number of books on the English language.

She said: "You might say that entry into Brewer's Dictionary is the reference equivalent of making it to the Order of the Garter.

"If a fact, quote, character, custom, or legend adds something to the story of our culture, however laterally or eccentrically, it will have earned its place."