LINGUIST List 15.83

Wed Jan 14 2004

Books: Modified Issue 15.9: Coleman

Editor for this issue: Marisa Ferrara <>

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  1. tom.perridge, A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Coleman

Message 1: A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Coleman

Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 18:36:34 -0500 (EST)
From: tom.perridge <>
Subject: A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Coleman

Title: A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries
Subtitle: Volume 1: 1567-1784
Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press,
Book URL:

Availability: Available 

Author: Julie Coleman, University of Leicester 

Hardback: ISBN: 0199254710, Pages: 320, Price: �45.00

This is the first volume in a complete history of the documentation of
English cant and slang from 1567 to the present. It gives unparalleled
insights into the early history of slang, the people who used it, and
how and why it was recorded.

Well over a hundred glossaries of cant and slang were published
between 1567 and 1784. The cant lists reveal the secret language
allegedly used by thieves and beggars to conceal their illicit
conspiracies: Dr Coleman investigates where and how they were produced
and the relationship between such lists and canting literature. She
considers why this period was so fascinated by crime and by criminals,
and apparently so obsessed with the need to record their language. How
far, she asks, are the lists genuine records of contemporary cant, and
how far the products of literary invention? Who produced them, and how
were they researched? Who bought them, and what did they hope to gain
from them? This absorbing and astute book will be an invaluable
resource for anyone interested in English slang and its history. It
also provides unusual and unexpected insights into the underworlds of
early modern England.
Lingfield(s):	History of Linguistics 
		Ling & Literature 
Subject Language(s): English (Language Code: ENG)

Written In: English (Language Code: English)

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