A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Volume 1: 1567-1784

Paperback | December 20, 2008

byJulie Coleman

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This is the first volume in a complete history of the documentation of English cant and slang from 1567 to the present. It gives unparalleled insights into the early history of slang, the people who used it, and how and why it was recorded.Well over a hundred glossaries of cant and slang were published between 1567 and 1784. The cant lists reveal the secret language allegedly used by thieves and beggars to conceal their illicit conspiracies: Dr Coleman investigates where and how they were produced and the relationship between suchlists and canting literature. She considers why this period was so fascinated by crime and by criminals, and apparently so obsessed with the need to record their language. How far, she asks, are the lists genuine records of contemporary cant, and how far the products of literary invention? Whoproduced them, and how were they researched? Who bought them, and what did they hope to gain from them? This absorbing and astute book will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in English slang and its history. It also provides unusual and unexpected insights into the underworlds of earlymodern England.

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This is the first volume in a complete history of the documentation of English cant and slang from 1567 to the present. It gives unparalleled insights into the early history of slang, the people who used it, and how and why it was recorded.Well over a hundred glossaries of cant and slang were published between 1567 and 1784. The cant l...

Julie Coleman is Reader in English at the University of Leicester and founder of the International Society for Historical Lexicography and Lexicology. Her research interests lie in the history of the English language, particularly the history of the lexis. She is the author of A Thesaurus of Love, Sex, and Marriage (Rodopi 1999). The ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.59 inPublished:December 20, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199557098

ISBN - 13:9780199557097

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAbbreviations and ConventionsIntroduction1. The Beggars are Coming to Town2. The Harman-Lists3. The Head-Lists4. The B. E.-Lists5. The Life of Bampfylde-Moore Carew6. Other Cant and Slang Lists7. Cant in Other Dictionaries8. ConclusionsAppendixBibliographySubject IndexWord Index

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"A fascinating glimpse into a world in which a secret language was at once menacing and thrilling."--Times Literary Supplement