Slang: A Very Short Introduction

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Feb 25, 2016 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 144 pages
Slang, however one judges it, shows us at our most human. It is used widely and often, typically associated with the writers of noir fiction, teenagers, and rappers, but also found in the works of Shakespeare and Dickens. It has been recorded since at least 1500 AD, and today's vocabulary, taken from every major English-speaking country, runs to over 125,000 slang words and phrases. This Very Short Introduction takes readers on a wide-ranging tour of this fascinating sub-set of the English language. It considers the meaning and origins of the word 'slang' itself, the ideas that a make a word 'slang', the long-running themes that run through slang, and the history of slang's many dictionaries. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Widsith - LibraryThing

Given Jonathon Green's status in the field – his three-volume Dictionary of Slang is far and away the definitive one in English – this overview is disappointing. It's perhaps a case of being too close ... Read full review


List of illustrations
the word
Slang as a linguistic register
Is slang a language?
themes and development
The users of slang
The components of slang
Recording slang
slangs dictionaries
The future of slang
Further reading

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases