First published in 1949 (this edition in 1968), this book is a dictionary of the past, exploring the language of the criminal and near-criminal worlds. It includes entries from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, as well as from Britain and America and offers a fascinating and unique study of language. The book provides an invaluable insight into social history, with the British vocabulary dating back to the 16th century and the American to the late 18th century. Each entry comes complete with the approximate date of origin, the etymology for each word, and a note of the milieu in which the expression arose.
Foreword; Abreviations and Principal Short References; Signs and a Note on Arrangement; A dictionary of the Underworld; Addenda
This series reissues important selected works by Eric Partridge, covering the period from 1933 to 1968. Together, the books look at many and diverse aspects of language, focusing in particular on English. Included in the collection are a variety of insightful dictionaries and reference works that showcase some of Partridge’s best work. The books are creative, as well as practical, and will provide enjoyable reading for both scholars and the more general reader, who has an interest in language and linguistics.