A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Volume IV: 1937-1984

ISBN : 9780199567256

Julie Coleman
536 ページ
163 x 241 mm

The starting date of the fourth volume of Julie Coleman's pioneering history marks the appearance of the most influential slang dictionary of the twentieth century, Eric Partridge's Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, produced at a time when the Depression had broken down traditional working-class communities; the United States was a still-reluctant world power; and another world war was inevitable. If the First World War unsettled combatants' minds, the second unsettled society. It challenged values around the world and, as the author shows, offered new opportunities for vibrant self-expression. Lexicographers recorded a rich harvest of words and phrases from around the world, reflecting new-found freedoms from convention, increased social mobility, and the continued rise of the mass media. Julie Coleman's account ranges across the English-speaking world. It will fascinate all those interested in slang and its reflections of social and cultural change.


1. Eric partridge's Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English
2. Dictionaries of Military Slang
3. Dictionaries of British Slang
4. Legacies of Empire and Declarations of Independence: Dictionaries of the Slang of Newer Nations
5. Dictionaries of American Slang
6. Glossaries of School and College Slang
7. Dictionaries of Race and Music
8. Dictionaries of Youth
9. Glossaries of Sexuality
10. Dictionaries of Drugs Slang
11. Dictionaries of Crime and Incarceration
12. Dictionaries of new Technologies: Citizens' Band Radio and Computers
13. Conclusion
Subject Index
Word Index


Julie Coleman is Professor of English Language at the University of Leicester and and founder of the Leicester English Grammar Project. Her research interests lie in the history of the English language, particularly the history of the lexis and the slang and cant dictionary tradition. 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 and the third (1859-1936) was published at the end of 2008.