This classic of Shakespeare scholarship begins with a masterly introductory essay analysing and exemplifying the various categories of sexual and non-sexual bawdy expressions and allusions in Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. The main body of the work consists of an alphabetical glossary of all words and phrases used in a sexual or scatological sense, with full explanations and cross-references.
Eric Partridge (1884-1979) was the author of some three dozen books, mainly on the aspects of the English language. Stanley Wells is an eminent Shakespearean scholar and the general editor of Oxford Shakespeare.
'It reads as freshly today as it did fifty years ago, when it surprised everyone with its originality and daring, an intriguing blend of personal insight and solid detective-work. If ever a word-book deserved to be called a classic, it is this.' - David Crystal