Dictionary of Contemporary Slang

Overview

With more than 7,000 definitions, this book provides a definitive guide to the use of slang today. It deals with drugs, sport and contemporary society, as well as favourite slang topics such as sex and bodily functions. In this fully updated fourth edition of the highly acclaimed Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, language and culture expert Tony Thorne explores the ever-changing underworld of the English language, bringing back intriguing examples of eccentricity and irreverence from the linguistic front-line.

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Dictionary of Contemporary Slang

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Overview

With more than 7,000 definitions, this book provides a definitive guide to the use of slang today. It deals with drugs, sport and contemporary society, as well as favourite slang topics such as sex and bodily functions. In this fully updated fourth edition of the highly acclaimed Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, language and culture expert Tony Thorne explores the ever-changing underworld of the English language, bringing back intriguing examples of eccentricity and irreverence from the linguistic front-line.

"Thorne is a kind of slang detective, going down the streets where other lexicographers fear to tread." Daily Telegraph

The most comprehensive guide on the subject, The Dictionary of Contemporary Slang gathers more than 5,000 racy and raffish colloquial expressions from America, Great Britain, Australia, the Caribbean, and other English-speaking places. Features the metaphors, puns, and double entendres from sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, fads, fashion, cults, and taboos that have enriched our language for the past 40 years.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Rife with ribaldry, with an amusing contrast between tart words and cool, analytical definitions, this book may mobilize the censors. A typical entry has variant spelling or wording, geographical range, meanings, and comments--often guesswork--on tone, nuance, associations, social context, history, derivation, and related words. Pronunciation is sometimes left unclear. A few slang styles, such as backslang and pig Latin, are noted. Published as the Bloomsbury Dictionary of Contemporary Slang in Britain , this work covers Britain, the United States, and Australia well, other English-speaking areas lightly. The author, a lexicographer, draws from the media and personal observation of such users of slang as hippies and Valley Girls. Recommended more as a fun reflection of speech in recent decades than as definitive scholarship.-- William A. Donovan, Chicago P.L.
Library Journal
08/01/2014
With a quick flip of these pages, freshi readers can avoid looking like clunks, and figure out if they should be pleased or insulted if told they're wearing a severe shirt. Thorne (innovations consultant, King's Coll., London) includes about 20 percent new material in this fourth edition. The approximately 7,000 entries were collected by monitoring broadcasts, printed material, and the Internet, as well as through personal research and Thorne's wide network of slang enthusiasts. Entries are heavily tilted toward British usage, though American and Australian slang appears, too. Insults, off-color expressions, and terms regarding sex, body parts, and bodily functions represent a significant percentage of the material. Scholars may find Thorne's 11-page preliminary discussion of the purpose and function of slang intriguing, and browsers can flip through the pages, stopping when a boldface word or boxed comment catches their eye. The definitions are clear and lively and the word usage itself is often quite humorous. VERDICT This book will attract readers who want to seem hep rather than hilljack with their nabes and BFFs. Most suitable for college libraries, or public libraries in large urban areas.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch., Fort Worth, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781408181799
  • Publisher: A&C Black Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 4/24/2014
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 407,868
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Formerly the Head of the English Language Centre at King's College, London, and currently Innovation Consultant at King's, Tony Thorne is an authority on language and culture, on which he has written and broadcast widely.

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