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The City in Slang: New York Life and Popular Speech
     

The City in Slang: New York Life and Popular Speech

by Irving Lewis Allen
 

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The American urban scene, and in particular New York's, has given us a rich cultural legacy of slang words and phrases, a bonanza of popular speech. Hot dog. rush hour, butter-and-egg man. gold digger, shyster, buttinsky, smartaleck, sidewalk superintendent, yellow journalism, breadline. straphanger, tar beach, the Tenderloin, the Great White Way, to do a Brodie-these

Overview

The American urban scene, and in particular New York's, has given us a rich cultural legacy of slang words and phrases, a bonanza of popular speech. Hot dog. rush hour, butter-and-egg man. gold digger, shyster, buttinsky, smartaleck, sidewalk superintendent, yellow journalism, breadline. straphanger, tar beach, the Tenderloin, the Great White Way, to do a Brodie-these are just a few of the hundreds of popular words and phrases that were coined or took on new meaning in the streets of New York.

In The City in Slang, Irving Lewis Allen traces the flowering of popular expressions that accompanied the emergence of the New York metropolis from the early nineteenth century down to the present. This unique account of the cultural and social history of America's greatest city provides in effect a lexicon of popular speech about city life. With many stories Allen shows how this vocabulary arose from city streets, often interplaying with vaudeville, radio, movies, comics, and the popular songs of Tin Pan Alley.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Allen (sociology, U. of Connecticut, Storrs) portrays the reflections on American slang cast by the emergence of the metropolis, New York in particular, and in turn depicts--through a study of slang--the social and cultural history of New York. He charts the arrival of such pearls as rubberneck and buttinsky, and such perils as greasy spoon and sweatshop. Includes a separate index of words and phrases; some 20 b/w photos and drawings. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198023913
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
02/29/2000
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Irving Lewis Allen is Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.

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