A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Volume III: 1859-1936

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This book continues Julie Coleman's acclaimed history of dictionaries of English slang and cant. It describes the increasingly systematic and scholarly way in which such terms were recorded and classified in the UK, the USA, Australia, and elsewhere, and the huge growth in the publication of and public appetite for dictionaries, glossaries, and guides to the distinctive vocabularies of different social groups, classes, districts, regions, and nations. Dr Coleman describes the origins of words and phrases and explores their history. By copious example she shows how they cast light on everyday life across the globe - from settlers in Canada and Australia and cockneys in London to gang-members in New York and soldiers fighting in the Boer and First World Wars - as well as on the operations of the narcotics trade and the entertainment business and the lives of those attending American colleges and British public schools. The slang lexicographers were a colourful bunch. Those featured in this book include spiritualists, aristocrats, socialists, journalists, psychiatrists, school-boys, criminals, hoboes, police officers, and a serial bigamist. One provided the inspiration for Robert Lewis Stevenson's Long John Silver. Another was allegedly killed by a pork pie. Julie Coleman's account will interest historians of language, crime, poverty, sexuality, and the criminal underworld.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
John Camden Hotten
15
International Slang Dictionaries of the 1880s and 1890s
35
Farmer and Henleys Slang and its Analogues
53
Other British General Slang Dictionaries
74
British School and University Glossaries
102
Australian Slang Dictionaries
139
Dictionaries of General American Slang
153
Dictionaries of Homelessness
276
Dictionaries of Crime
303
Glossaries of the Entertainment Industries
371
Conclusion
395
Appendix of Tabular Matter
399
Bibliography
419
Index
441
Word Index
454

American School and University Glossaries
195
Dictionaries of First World War Slang
217

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About the author (2004)


Julie Coleman is Reader in English at the University of Leicester and founder of the International Society for Historical Lexicography and Lexicology. Her research interests lie in the history of the English language, particularly the history of the lexis. She is the author of A Thesaurus of Love, Sex, and Marriage, Rodopi 1999. The first two volumes of her history of cant and slang dictionaries, on the periods 1567-1784 and 1785-1858, were published by OUP in 2004. A fourth volume taking the history to 1984 is in preparation.

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