Slang The Topical Dictionary of Americanisms


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Walker & Company


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0802715311

9780802715319

464 Pages

$24.95

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Nothing reflects—and shapes—American popular culture more than slang. White collar or blue, newbie or geek, every niche of society has its own terms that take on special meaning within context, depending on whether one is a biker or a blogger. New words are continually coined and old ones take on new meanings to keep up with fast-paced changes in industry, politics, and lifestyles. Paul Dickson's Slang organizes slang words for easy browsing, allowing the reader to look up words associated with the vernaculars of coffee bars, eBay, the drug culture, gaming, hip-hop, real estate, traditional and extreme sports, the Washington Beltway, and much more. Dickson goes far beyond simple definitions; instead, he provides introductory narratives, descriptions, and sidebars that illustrate how terms and phrases fit into the subcultures that spawned them. First published in 1990, again in 1998—and now revised and expanded, with new chapters and 10,000 words that reflect American life today—Slang is a book for anyone who wants to be up to speed on American English and contemporary culture.

REVIEWS

Praise for Slang

"Dickinson does it again, entrancing those who want to eavesdrop on the slanguage of everyone from baristas to bitheads."—Erin McKean, American lexicographer and editor of Verbatim: The Language Quarterly
 
"With focus, a passion for language, and a world-class ear, Dickson has produced brilliant chapter after brilliant chapter, any one of which would be a lifetime achievement for most lexicographers."—Tom Dalzell, senior editor of The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English and author of Flappers 2 RappersAmerican Youth Slang
 
"Dickson is the author of numerous well-received one-man lexical works written in a very accessible style, among them War Slang and The Congress Dictionary. His third edition of Slang both an update and a revision of the earlier editions includes 30 topics, such as 'Bureaucratese' and 'Real Estate,' and more than 10,000 words. Some topics from earlier editions have been dropped (e.g., 'Pentagonese,' 'Countercultural Slang'), others have undergone minor title changes, while nine are new topics altogether (e.g., 'Hip-hop,' 'Net-speak'). The topical arrangement is unique among dictionaries of American slang, and the published edition [includes] an index . . . Dickson does a better job here of providing the sources he used to compile the entries in his own book, and he gives more information on origins than in previous editions . . . Dickson's is a useful addition to any reference collection and will complement rather than replace his earlier editions."—Peter Dollard, Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Paul Dickson, coauthor of The Bonus Army, has written numerous language books and dictionaries, including War Slang, The Congress Dictionary, and The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary.  He has written for Smithsonian, Esquire, The Nation, Town & Country, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.  A founding member and former president of Washington Independent writers and a member of the National Press Club, Dickson is a contributing editor at Washingtonian magazine and a former consulting editor at Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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  • Paul Dickson, coauthor of The Bonus Army, has written numerous language books and dictionaries, including War Slang, The Congress Dictionary, and The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary.  He has written for Smithsonian, Esquire, The Nation, Town & Country, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.  A founding member and former president of Washington Independent writers and a member of the National Press Club, Dickson is a contributing editor at Washingtonian magazine and a former consulting editor at Merriam-Webster, Inc.
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