Dewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers: A Decade-by-Decade Guide to the Vanishing Vocabulary of the Twentieth Century by Rosemarie OstlerDewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers: A Decade-by-Decade Guide to the Vanishing Vocabulary of the Twentieth Century by Rosemarie Ostler

Dewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers: A Decade-by-Decade Guide to the Vanishing Vocabulary of the…

byRosemarie Ostler

Paperback | August 8, 2005

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Every era of the twentieth century from the "Roaring Twenties" to the "Me Decade" brought its own fads and trends and the language to go with them: fresh youth slang, up-to-the-minute buzzwords, and colorful catch phrases. Most of this new vocabulary exploded into the vernacular, only tofizzle a few years later as newer trends and more current events demanded their own terminology.Giving yesterday's words another chance to sparkle before they retire for good, Dewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers focuses on language that still resonates with the mood of its times. A nostalgic word trip through the highs and lows of American English from the last century, this book pays specialattention to words that enjoyed a brief vogue only to end up abandoned and nearly forgotten: jet jockeys, keypunch operators, the bugged-out and the slackers. All these words have a place here in engaging essays, arranged by decade, that put them in their historical and sociological context. Whilethe twentieth century is over, this book will help us appreciate the words that were left behind.
Rosemarie Ostler, a linguist and librarian, has written on this topic for The Saturday Evening Post, and her work has also appeared in The Futurist, Oregon Quarterly, Whole Earth, and Writers' Journal.
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Title:Dewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers: A Decade-by-Decade Guide to the Vanishing Vocabulary of the…Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.79 inPublished:August 8, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195182545

ISBN - 13:9780195182545

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Editorial Reviews

"According to linguist and librarian Ostler, "thousands of [slang] words and expressions entered American English between 1900 and 1999." Among these, some expressions--like "groovy," "straight skinny" and "Okie"--grew dated and fell out of use. Others-such as "cakewalk" and "motorcourt"-metamorphosed and entered the general lexicon. Organized by decade and ingeniously presented both in lists and in short historical essays, Ostler's definitions are clear and amusing. For any lexiphile curious to know what Depression-era hobos called the local jail or how the term "goballistic" emerged in the 1980s, this guide will be a pleasure."--Publishersweekly.com