REf Dictionaries Atlas Language Guides Writing Guides Learn more
Buy Used
$3.99
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by thirdshf
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Houghton Mifflin, TPB, 1994. Gently used, clean, tight, no markings or highlighting, mild wear, curl on front cover, sticker on front cover
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Black Talk Paperback – August 25, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0395699928 ISBN-10: 0395699924 Edition: First Edition

Used
Price: $3.99
7 New from $9.80 51 Used from $0.01 3 Collectible from $4.99
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, August 25, 1994
$9.80 $0.01
Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Available from these sellers.

Frequently Bought Together

Black Talk + Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English
Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 243 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; First Edition edition (August 25, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395699924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395699928
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,821,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The speech of African Americans has been defined by many terms--black English, Ebonics, African American vernacular, and African American language. Smitherman (Talkin' That Talk: Language, Culture, and Education in African America) traces the history of black language, describes its unique features, and demonstrates its impact on "standard English" in her excellent introduction to this volume. She also provides a provocative discussion on the recent Ebonics' debate--whether black youth should be instructed in their "native language" as well as "standard English." The bulk of Black Talk, however, is a dictionary of black language. Unlike most dictionaries, this one "concentrates on the historical and contemporary significance of words and phrases in the context of African American culture and the Black experience" rather than providing the origin or etymological history of a word or phrase. This revised edition (the first was published in 1994) gives hundreds of definitions for words in current usage, including recent additions like "jiggy," "flava," "benjamins," and "D.W.B." (Driving While Black). An essential volume for all libraries; smaller libraries that own the earlier edition need not purchase the update.
-Louis J. Parascandola, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Booklist

We liked the first edition of this book [RBB S 15 94] for its contemporary coverage. This edition has more than 300 new words and phrases and also adds a discussion of Ebonics.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mike Ramey on February 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
In studying the language of African Americans, there is rich, historical tradition of oral communication that pre-dates our arrival to the shores of America. Each time an author braves the winds and waves of time to re-capture how we say things, and why we say the things that we say is a cause for not only for excitement, but a reason for celebration.
Geneva Smitherman has accurately captured the humor, wit, and wisdom of our language in her revised volume "Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner (2000, Houghton Mifflin Publishers, 305 Pages)." With 300 additional new terms, phrases and definitions included, the book is quickly going to be a writer's companion, a teacher's dictionary and a journalist's friend. It covers a great deal of distance, and provides some explanations as to OUR language, our customs, and our traditions.
Now, the work was originally released in 1994. Smitherman has expanded this volume by including a little history behind our pronunciation patterns, the pros and cons of the great Ebonics debate of the 1990s, and brought forth explanations of terms that have found their way into the American mainstream from our people. One of the true beauties of this work is the inclusion of the Amen Corner--some of those terms and phrases that have emerged from the walls and pulpits of many a Black preacher, and Black church congregation.
This book will have young and old alike anxiously turning the pages to find out the meanings and the history behind such phrases as `Stuck On Stupid' (which is one of my personal favorites), and `Benjamins' (which has several sub-meanings coming from the Hip Hop language of today).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "2legit" on July 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read a review for this book and thought that I'd check it out. As an African American woman from the Midwest, I have to honestly say that there were a lot of words and phrases that I'd never heard before and some that I'd heard in passing and had no clue what their meanings were. Now you can call me informed. I enjoyed reading this book and actually laughed out loud when I read something that I hadn't heard in ages that brought back lots of memories. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand more about Black talk.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 18, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great reference. As a working screenwriter and published novelist, I find I use this book almost every day. One nit, however: it would be a lot more helpful if the book were cross-referenced so that you could look up a common word and find the Black Talk "translation." Just a thought for those of us who aren't hip. BTW, this author is very good, a fine writer and her work is extremely well researched. Check out her other books.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lisa W. on October 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
I laughed, I cried and, most importantly, I remembered many of these sayings as stated by my grandparents, parents and family from South Carolina and New York City. The history behind many of these words and phrases were of great interest to me. I am buying copies as holiday presents for family members.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
There is a usefulness for this book, but remember this book dates from the years 1994 and 2000. Here is one example of where things are outdated. The definition of 'beast' is said to be a derogatory term for a white person. Now as of this writing, circa 2011-12 'beast' is a term for something or someone who is extremely good at something. Note these may be some outdated parts of this book but there is still useful parts of this.

Also this book is a dictionary, and I was expecting it more to be a study on Ebonics and information and less definitions. Oh well it is still good.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mistermaxxx08 HALL OF FAME on May 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
if you were a kid growing up in the 70's,80's or very young in the 90's you heard alot of terms and phrases from various relatives and i say this to say way before the internet and other newer terms in the superhighway era, being down south you heard different terms than when you were back east or out west and in the midwest. Black code words and also street terms of hip wording and certain phrases which were incredible, this is a classic book to take you back to a time and place about those meanings and more.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?