Juba to Jive: A Dictionary of African-American Slang

Front Cover
Clarence Major
Penguin Books, 1994 - Reference - 548 pages
1 Review
Since the days of slavery, when the conversations of black slaves served as the classic example of a secret tongue, a kind of "home talk" in the sense that it was not meant for listeners beyond the nest, to the 1980s and '90s and the expressions of rap and hip-hop, the evolution of African-American slang from private to public language has irrevocably influenced American culture and speech. Illuminating this vibrant language, Juba to Jive offers a comprehensive collection of terms, from the oldest to the most modern, as well as clear straightforward definitions of words, phrases, and expressions, with many examples in context; approximate date of each term's arrival into the language; modifications of meanings as the terms entered the mainstream; cross-references to similar terms; linguistic roots, from onomatopoetic sources to rhyming jargon; and shifts in word forms and grammatical usage.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Wallih - LibraryThing

Clarence Major’s careful detail to word definitions and explanations about phrase origins along with clear explanatory notes about the terms and sources he used to compile the books thousands of ... Read full review

Juba to jive: the dictionary of African-American slang

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this work, Major revises his earlier Dictionary of Afro-American Slang ( LJ 2/1/71) to include current and historical slang. This dictionary is a comprehensive study covering use by gangs ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1994)

Artist and writer Clarence Major grew up in Chicago and later received his Ph.D. from the Union Institute in Ohio. He has been a judge for the National Book Awards and was twice named to the panel of the National Endowment of the Arts. Major has written eight novels including "Such Was The Season" and "Painted Turtle," which received citations from the New York Times Book Review as Summer Reading and Notable Book of the Year, and "My Amputations," which received the Western States Book Award. Major published "Juba Jive: A Dictionary of African American Slang," as well as nine other books of poetry that won a National Council of the Arts Award and two Pushcart Prizes.

Bibliographic information