LINGUIST List 15.9

Mon Jan 12 2004

Books: Sociolinguistics: Coleman

Editor for this issue: Madhavi Jammalamadaka <>

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  1. tom.perridge, A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Coleman

Message 1: A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Coleman

Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 10:14:53 -0500 (EST)
From: tom.perridge <>
Subject: A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Coleman

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

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press,

Book URL: 

Author: Julie Coleman, University of Leicester 

Hardback: ISBN: 0199254710, Pages: 320, Price: 45.00


This is the first volume in a complete history of the documentation of
Engl ish 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 such lists 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
cont emporary cant, and how far the products of literary invention?
Who produced 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 early modern England.

		History of Linguistics Lexicography Ling & Literature 

Subject Language(s): English (Language code: ENG)

Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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