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The publication of this Dictionary locates the discussion of its subject, Cantonese slang, within the social, cultural and political dynamics of Hong Kong society. The 'slang' of the title refers to a wide range of Hong Kong vernacular Cantonese speech styles, notably the language of the underworld (a major source of innovation in late 20th-21st century speech), of teenagers, and of Hong Kong movies and comics.
The volume offers a general introduction to the history of 'vernacular' and 'vulgar' dictionaries, including the lexicography of Cantonese; the sociopolitical and linguistic background to Hong Kong; and the specific problems of approach and methodology faced by the linguist as urban anthropologist in researching such issues. The Dictionary itself offers for the first time a survey of the commonest slang and colloquial phrases used in Hong Kong, including taboo language not hitherto included in any dictionary. The aim is to allow diverse groups of people interested in Hong Kong society and culture access to an authoritative guide to non-standard Cantonese. It is Cantonese-English, arranged alphabetically according to a widely-used transcription system. The Dictionary provides concise definitions and examples of usage where appropriate. A character list enables readers unfamiliar with Chinese transcription systems to use the text.
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"The one and only, covering everything from common colloquialisms to triad trash-talking. . . . More than an indispensable tool for anybody—reader, writer or even lawyer—who needs to understand everyday Cantonese." —Frank Dikötter, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of LondonAbout the Author:
Kingsley Bolton taught for two decades at the University of Hong Kong, before becoming Professor of Linguistics in the English Department at the University of Stockholm.
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