A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries, Volume II: by Julie Coleman

By Julie Coleman

The book of Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue revolutionized the lexicography of non-standard English. His impression is felt in many of the dictionaries coated during this quantity which reproduction, variously, his rigorously documented reliance on written assets, his extremely joyful revelation of first-hand event of the seedier aspect of London lifestyles, and his word-list. in this interval, glossaries of cant are thrown into the color by way of dictionaries of slang, which come with the language of thieves, yet disguise a wider spectrum of non-standard English. whereas cant represented a realistic probability to estate and lifestyles, slang was once an ethical hazard to the very constitution of society. within the 1820s, Pierce Egan's existence in London established how well known and profitable slang literature should be one of the plenty. This quantity additionally contains the earliest Australian and American slang glossaries, by way of contributors like James Hardy Vaux (a convict transported 3 times) and George Matsell (New York's first leader of police).

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A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries, Volume II: 1785-1858

The e-book of Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue revolutionized the lexicography of non-standard English. His impact is felt in many of the dictionaries coated during this quantity which replica, variously, his conscientiously documented reliance on written assets, his extremely joyful revelation of first-hand event of the seedier facet of London existence, and his word-list.

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1). This is a relatively small proportion, but some cant and slang lists, like the New Canting Dictionary, provide no usage labels at all. No usage labels are actually necessary, because we can assume that everything included is cant. 4). Grose, Classical Dictionary (1785), ii–iii. 20 Francis Grose might be made with respect to Grose’s dictionary: that everything not otherwise labelled is non-standard. 8 per cent) are from the dictionaries considered above. Grose labels as ‘cant’ thirty-nine entries that B.

The person administering the oath was always to be called father, by the juror, and he, in return, was to stile him son, under the penalty of a bottle. or preserving for the less privileged their small areas of influence: DISHCLOUT . . to pin a dishclout to a man’s tail, a punishment often threatened by the female servants in a kitchen, to a man who prys too minutely into the secrets of that place. In most of the practical jokes, the butt of the joke would not become a victim if he did not suffer from excessive pride in his courage, physical strength, or verbal abilities.

John’s Street, who had more of pleasantry, and less of mystery than the free masons. By far the most frequent sources of Grose’s entries, though, are popular literature and proverbial wisdom: CAT’S PAW, to be made a cat’s paw of, to be made a tool, or instrument to accomplish the purpose of another. An allusion to the story of a monkey, who made use of a cat’s paw, to scratch a roasted chesnut [sic] out of the fire. CRISPIN, a shoe maker, from a romance, wherein a prince of that name is said to have exercised the art and mystery of a shoe maker, thence called the gentle craft; or rather from the saints Crispinus and Crispianus, who, according to the legend, were brethren born at Rome .

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