A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Volume II: 1785-1858 by Julie ColemanA History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Volume II: 1785-1858 by Julie Coleman

A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Volume II: 1785-1858

byJulie Coleman

Paperback | December 20, 2008

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 390 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


The second volume of Julie Coleman's entertaining and revealing history of the recording and uses of slang and criminal cant takes the story from 1785 to 1858, and explores their manifestations in the United States of America and Australia. During this period glossaries of cant were thrown into the shade by dictionaries of slang, which now covered a broad spectrum of non-standard English, including the language of thieves. Julie Coleman shows how Francis Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue revolutionized the lexicography of theunderworld. She explores the compilation and content of the earliest Australian and American slang glossaries, whose authors included the thrice-transported James Hardy Vaux and the legendary George Matsell, New York City's first chief of police, whose The Secret Language of Crime: The Rogue'sLexicon informed the script of Martin Scorcese's film Gangs of New York.Cant represented a tangible danger to life and property, but slang threatened to undermine good behaviour and social morality. Julie Coleman shows how and why they were at once repellent and seductive. Her fascinating account casts fresh light on language and life in some of the darker regions ofGreat Britain and the English-speaking world.
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 f...
Title:A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Volume II: 1785-1858Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.79 inPublished:December 20, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199557101

ISBN - 13:9780199557103

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

1. Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue2. Dictionaries Based on Grose's3. Humphry Tristram Potter4. James Hardy Vaux5. Pierce Egan6. John Bee7. Minor British Cant and Slang Lists8. Some American Cant and Slang Lists9. College Dictionaries10. ConclusionsAppendixBibliographyWord IndexSubject Index