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Dictionary of Contemporary Slang 1st American ed Edition

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0679737063
ISBN-10: 0679737065
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Rife with ribaldry, with an amusing contrast between tart words and cool, analytical definitions, this book may mobilize the censors. A typical entry has variant spelling or wording, geographical range, meanings, and comments--often guesswork--on tone, nuance, associations, social context, history, derivation, and related words. Pronunciation is sometimes left unclear. A few slang styles, such as backslang and pig Latin, are noted. Published as the Bloomsbury Dictionary of Contemporary Slang in Britain , this work covers Britain, the United States, and Australia well, other English-speaking areas lightly. The author, a lexicographer, draws from the media and personal observation of such users of slang as hippies and Valley Girls. Recommended more as a fun reflection of speech in recent decades than as definitive scholarship.
- William A. Donovan, Chicago P.L.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“Thorne is a noted British lexicographer, and his book is most useful for collections wanting the latest in British slang, including bawdy, vulgar, and repurposed words that currently enliven informal speech.” ―Pamela Palmer, University of Memphis, CHOICE --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 583 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1st American ed edition (November 12, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679737065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679737063
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,725,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Ohioan on March 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This dictionary's main concern is current-day slang, chiefly British and then American. Many of the definitions tell when a phrase came into being and also when it ceased being popular as, say, a phrase that was last used in the 1950s. Not many slang dictionaries tell when a phrase fell out of popularity, yet this is a valuable piece of information. In many cases the British use of a slang is compared to the American use: again, a valuable distinction. While I prefer using the slang dictionaries that concentrate on American slang, I wouldn't be without this one: slang jumps from one continent to another with wild abandon, so it's good to know the differences in meaning between one culture's use of a slang phrase and another culture's use of that same phrase.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Purchased for friend. I thought it just had to do with American Slang, but it included other countries. She said the introduction was very informative. It may end up being better, more comprehensive, but her interest was for American Slang. I may not have read the description fully.
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