The Dictionary of American Slang

ISBN 10: 006270107X / ISBN 13: 9780062701077
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Synopsis: Originally published in 1960, The Dictionary of American Slang is widely regarded as the standard in its field. Expanded and completely updated, this third edition contains more than 19,000 terms of representing the variety and vigor of American slang, from the most widely acceptable to the taboo, and covering all periods of American history -- from the gypsies, soldiers, railroad workers and cowboys of the 19th century to more modern spawning grounds such as the rock 'n' roll world, the corporate sector, African-Americans, gays and lesbians and many more.

Intimately connected with the fringes of our culture and responding with vigilance to new developments in technology, slang is the fastest changing part of our language. This new edition considers the subcultures that have emerged in the wake of the past decade's technological and communication advances, including the advent of computer usage at home and in the workplace and the explosion of the Internet and the World Wide Web. With more than 2,000 new terms, the Lexicon of the '90s is recorded here in definitive detail.

Like previous editions, this edition features pronunciation guides, word origins, examples of appropriate usage as well as a helpful highlighting system that lets you know which terms should be used with caution, and never in polite company. Both as important archive of the way America is really talking and a lot of fun to read, The Dictionary of American Slang  will prove to be an invaluable companion in keeping up with the dauntingly jargon-filled, quickly evolving language of today.

Review: Dollars to doughnuts, your reference shelf lacks a good slang dictionary, and that's a fine how-de-do. Whether you're a stuffy writer looking to gussy up your prose, a poindexter who thinks studying dictionaries is the cat's pajamas, or a muttonheaded fogey hoping to get a clue, Robert Chapman's Dictionary of American Slang fills the bill. Containing more than 19,000 terms of American slang, this lexicon represents all periods of American history, from phrases out of the 1880s, such as carrot-top for "redhead," to current '90s jargon such as carjacking. It covers the widely acceptable and the taboo, slang from cowboys and railroad workers and slang from rock & rollers, corporate America, and the gay community. It includes obsolete phrases such as canoeing for "making-out," and up-to-date terms relating to technology, such as listserv for "electronic mail list." Each item features pronunciation guides, word origins, and usage examples, and words that are derogatory or impolite are clearly labeled as such. A righteous reference and a lulu of a browser, the Dictionary of American Slangis an elegantly produced and scholarly rigorous linguistic knockout. --Stephanie Gold

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Title: The Dictionary of American Slang
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Chapman, Robert L.
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