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BOOKS ON LANGUAGE

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HOTTEN, John Camden, 1832-1873 – publisher : THE SLANG DICTIONARY; OR, THE VULGAR WORDS, STREET PHRASES, AND “FAST” EXPRESSIONS OF HIGH AND LOW SOCIETY. MANY WITH THEIR ETYMOLOGY, AND A FEW WITH THEIR HISTORY TRACED.

HOTTEN, John Camden, 1832-1873 – publisher : THE SLANG DICTIONARY; OR, THE VULGAR WORDS, STREET PHRASES, AND “FAST” EXPRESSIONS OF HIGH AND LOW SOCIETY. MANY WITH THEIR ETYMOLOGY, AND A FEW WITH THEIR HISTORY TRACED.

London : John Camden Hotten, 1864. [Third edition]. First published in 1859 as “A Dictionary of Modern Slang”, containing 3,000 examples, the present edition has more than tripled in size to include some 10,000 definitions – cant; gipsy slang; jaw-breakers; beggars’ maps and hieroglyphics; slang history; fashionable slang; parliamentary slang; military and dandy slang; university slang; religious slang; legal slang; literary slang; theatrical slang; money slang; shopkeepers’ slang; workmen’s slang; slang oaths; drunk slang; back slang; rhyming slang – and a bibliography.
Crown 8vo (20cm). (xxii),[2],(306),(6) + [xvi]pp adevertisements. Frontispiece map – A Cadger’s Map of a Begging District, with an explanation of the vagabonds’ chalk marks. Original green cloth, blocked and lettered in gilt, by Bone & Son, with their ticket; some very minor rubbing; some spotting, mainly of prelims and edges; a little shaken and slack, but a good and still bright copy of an endlessly absorbing study. An earlier owner, identified only as J. D., has added a manuscript note on the word “bosh” and a couple of pencilled annotations elsewhere, but more significantly a thirteen-line note to the half-title, suggesting that the compiler has been hoaxed in a number of places, particularly in the sections on back-slang and rhyming slang. He or she further suggests that the compiler was not Hotten himself, as is usually thought, but Henry Sampson (1841-1891), the editor of “The Referee”. Small bookseller’s label of Kerby & Son of Oxford Street.

£100

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