"Adams' theories are brilliant, and he draws on a startlingly diverse universe to illustrate his points, leaping without apparent effort from Chaucer to stamp collectors; from snowboarders to UPS drivers; from T.S. Eliot to Charles Dickens; from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
to The Simpsons
. With a love of the subject matter and a glorious grasp of the language, he carries you effortlessly from one big idea to another. What a book!"
--Tom Dalzell, editor of The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional English
"A lively and engaging look at English slang and its multitudinous forms."
--Ben Zimmer, The Visual Thesaurus
"The depth of the argumentation and the richness of the writing and the archive make Slang
a text that is at once highly readable and theoretically productive."
--Phillip M. Carter, Language in Society
"Michael Adams's Slang
is not a collection of words but an examination of the scope and function of slang in our language and our lives. It's scholarly yet highly readable--just as you would expect from the author of Slayer Slang
--Jan Freeman, Boston Globe
"Brilliant.... Adams' theory of slang as a poetic device is truly insightful."--Semiotica
"This is an intelligent book, executed with passion. Slang
offers important comment and documentation on an aspect of our culture that is very often overlooked."--January Magazine
"Book length studies (as opposed to dictionaries) of slang are few and far between, so with this volume Adams has done scholars, students, and aficionados of slang a great service. Adams has a knack for illuminating both linguistic ephemera and its underlying principles. Speaking to the general reader, the author uses linguistic jargon sparingly, puts scholarly observations in everyday terms, and illustrates key ideas with in-depth examples rather than drive-by word citations. This book is a must for libraries and lovers of language. Essential." --CHOICE
"[A] lively and informative book."--Library Journal
About the Author
teaches English language and literature at Indiana University. He is the author of Slayer Slang: A
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon
and editor of From Elvish to Klingon
. For several years, he was editor of Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America
. He is currently editor of the journal American Speech