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The First English Dictionary of Slang, 1699 1St Edition Edition
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(Jeremy Noel-Tod Telegraph)
“A brilliant Christmas stocking-filler for any lover of language or social history.”
(Jen Newby Family History Monthly)
“Opening it at random, one is plunged back into late 17th-century London, specifically the criminal underworld of narrow streets, ale-houses, and brothels, of sheds crammed with stolen goods, stinking debtor’s prisons, and public hangings.”
(Jenny Lunnon Oxford Times)
“The continuing value of this compilation is not just its historical interest, but the insight that it gives into the urban life of the period.”
(Michael Quinion World Wide Words)
“Everyone needs a good dictionary in the loo, and this could be it.”
(Marcus Berkmann Spectator)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The introduction to the volume is by John Simpson, who is the chief editor of _The Oxford English Dictionary_. He explains that we know almost nothing about the compiler of this dictionary, who is identified only on the title page as B. E. Gent, with that "Gent" not being his name but his claim to be a gentleman. B. E. included plenty of terms besides "light-fingered" that we still use today.Read more ›
Well, it may not be helping me secure my money or my life but it is serving its stated secondary purpose of being "diverting and entertaining". It's decidedly fun to read, just to see what words from then have stuck with us, even becoming mainstream vocabulary, and what has faded into disuse. For example, I can't know for sure if anyone still calls a dog a "bufe" but I rather doubt it. Is a homely woman an "antidote" nowadays? To "fleece" as in to "rob" is still around today but using the term "coliander-seed" for money must have lost its usefulness. And if someone called me a "dim-mort" today, I'd probably take offense, but that was a "pretty wench" back in the day.
So this is fun. It's not a book to settle down with and finish in one sitting, but it's quite "diverting and entertaining" in bits and pieces.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got this book to aid me in writing a historical novel and it has worked quite well. My only complaint is that I wish it were better organized or had a glossary at the end.Published on December 5, 2013 by Alley Kat