From Publishers Weekly
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Each entry contains part of speech, definition, and citations from a range of sources. Other elements that may be included are an etymology, a field label identifying the group or subculture that generally uses the term (for example, Mil. for military), variant forms, usage labels, cross-references, and notes. Much of the slang recorded here is indeed lively and clever. A prepared response to an opponent's anticipated assertion is a prebuttle. A red-headed Eskimo is a bill so precisely targeted that it might benefit only one specific person. A twinkie is someone or something that is appealing but lacking in substance. Velcroid applies to a person who seeks to advance by associating with a more important person. A clothespin vote is one that is cast unenthusiastically for a choice regarded as least objectionable. The idea is "that voters must use a clothespin to protect their noses from the supposed stench of such candidates."
By no means the least interesting part of the dictionary is the series of eight brief essays on topics (such as chads and the -gate suffix) about which Barrett felt compelled to comment at somewhat greater length than his definitions, notes, and etymologies permitted. This is a book to be read and enjoyed, not merely to be taken down from the shelf now and then and briefly consulted, and it is recommended for public and academic libraries. Harold Cordry
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