By Julie Coleman
The ebook of Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue revolutionized the lexicography of non-standard English. His effect is felt in many of the dictionaries coated during this quantity which reproduction, variously, his conscientiously documented reliance on written assets, his thrilled revelation of first-hand adventure of the seedier aspect of London lifestyles, and his word-list. in this interval, glossaries of cant are thrown into the color by way of dictionaries of slang, which come with the language of thieves, yet conceal a wider spectrum of non-standard English. whereas cant represented a realistic chance to estate and existence, slang used to be an ethical probability to the very constitution of society. within the 1820s, Pierce Egan's lifestyles in London validated how well known and profitable slang literature should be one of the lots. This quantity additionally contains the earliest Australian and American slang glossaries, via contributors like James Hardy Vaux (a convict transported 3 times) and George Matsell (New York's first leader of police).
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Additional resources for A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries, Volume II: 1785-1858
CAG MAGGS. Old Lincolnshire geese, which having been plucked ten or twelve years, are sent up to London to feast the cockneys. WHORE-MONGER. A man that keeps more than one mistress. ’ 41 Hotten, Dictionary, 154. 25. Hell upon Earth: or the most Pleasant and Delectable History of Whittington’s Colledge, Otherwise (vulgarly) called Newgate (London: no publisher’s details, 1703); Scoundrel’s Dictionary (London: J. Brownnell, 1754). 2. 25] Francis Grose 41 Thirdly, the handwritten versions of these entries were polished and improved for the published edition, both orthographically and stylistically, thus indicating that they were not copied from the second edition (the other possible explanation for the similarity): Annotations Admiral of the Narrow Seas One who from Drunkenness vomits into the lap of his opposite companion.
A company coming in to see the sow, David ushered them into the stye, exclaiming there is a sow for you! did any of you ever see such another? all the while supposing the sow had really been there; to which some of the company, seeing the state the woman was in, replied, it was the drunkenest sow they had ever beheld; whence the woman was ever after called David’s sow. Grose makes reference to languages other than English in less than an eighth of his etymologies. In some cases he gives both word and language source: FOOTY DESPICABLE [sic], a footy fellow, a despicable fellow, from the French foutüe.
Jokes played upon people with lower social status than the instigator long remained an accepted part of indenture into an apprenticeship. Jokes whose humour is at the expense of those of a higher social status belong to a long tradition of humorous and carefully contained role reversal, often as part of the 30 Francis Grose May Day festivities. 30 These claims are, however, nothing more than cunning advertising, based largely upon information scattered between entries, including: DERICK, the name of the finisher of the law, or hangman, about the year 1608 .
A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries, Volume II: 1785-1858 by Julie Coleman