By Julie Coleman
The booklet of Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue revolutionized the lexicography of non-standard English. His impression is felt in lots of the dictionaries coated during this quantity which reproduction, variously, his rigorously documented reliance on written resources, his thrilled revelation of first-hand event of the seedier facet of London lifestyles, and his word-list. in this interval, glossaries of cant are thrown into the coloration by way of dictionaries of slang, which come with the language of thieves, yet hide a wider spectrum of non-standard English. whereas cant represented a pragmatic danger to estate and existence, slang was once an ethical risk to the very constitution of society. within the 1820s, Pierce Egan's lifestyles in London verified how well known and winning slang literature may be one of the plenty. This quantity additionally contains the earliest Australian and American slang glossaries, by way of participants like James Hardy Vaux (a convict transported thrice) and George Matsell (New York's first leader of police).
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Extra resources for A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries, Volume II: 1785-1858
He lists very few, however: CALIBOGUS, rum and spruce beer, an American beverage. STEWED QUAKER, burned rum with a piece of butter, an American remedy for a cold. YANKEY, OR YANKEY DOODLE, a booby or country lout, a name given to the New England men in North America. 26 They joined the African communities of the major slaving ports, including London, who had largely been imported as novelty servants. By the end of the eighteenth century, there was a fluctuating population of between 10,000 and 20,000 Black people in England and Wales, so Grose need not have travelled far to record Black English:27 BUMBO .
Cant) CRAPPED, hanged, (cant). To cite an antiquarian source is to demonstrate one’s scholarship; to cite a more modern source reveals plagiarism. 20 Unfortunately, such sources are unidentifiable and unverifiable. Perhaps the best place to search for their influence in the dictionary is among Grose’s citations, of which there are almost 200 entries that cannot be traced to the sources mentioned above. e. they began to throw stones. CANDLESTICKS, bad, small, or untuneable bells. Hark! how the candlesticks rattle.
Compare this with the entry for beef in the second edition of Grose’s dictionary, published three years before: . . Say you bought your beef of me; a jocular request from a butcher to a fat man, implying that he credits the butcher who serves him. 8 16 Francis Grose And wow! he has an unco slight* O’ cauk and keel*. It’s tauld he was a sodger bred, And ane wad rather fa’n* than fled: But now he’s quat the spurtle-blade*, And dog-skin wallet, And taen the—Antiquarian trade, I think they call it.
A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries, Volume II: 1785-1858 by Julie Coleman