First published in 1933 (this edition in 1939), this book sees Partridge introducing the reader to the eccentric lexicographers Wesley and Captain Grose. In an entertaining way, the book jovially explores and discusses various words and phrases such as "bloody", euphemisms, the Devil’s nicknames, various versions of slang, and familiar terms of address. He does so with light-worn learning making the book of interest to a whole variety of readers.
Preface; Part 1: An Etymological Medly 1. Offensive ationality 2. Footpads and Highwaymen 3. The Devil and His Nicknames 4. Familiar Terms of Address 5. Rhyming Slang, Black Slang, and Other Oddities 6. The Art of Lightening Work 7. The Philology of Christmas 8. All Fools’ Day 9. Representative Names 10. American Cant 11. The Word Bloody 12. Euphemism and Euphemisms Part 2: Semi-Biographical 13. One of John Wesley’s Side-Lines 14. Johnson’s Dictionary 15. A Falstaff among Antiquaries Part 3: Aspects of Soldiers’ Slang 16. British Soldiers’ Slang with a Past 17. German Army Slang 18. The Slang of the POILU 19. Soldiers’ Slang of Three Nations Appendices 1. Boxing Day 2. Some Groups of ‘Tommy’ Words 3. The POILU on Himself and Others; Index
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.