Catalogue


Random House historical dictionary of American slang /
J.E. Lighter, editor ; assistant editors, J. Ball, J. O'Connor.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : Random House, 1994-1997.
description
2 v.
ISBN
0394544277 (v. 1) 067943464X (v. 2)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Random House, 1994-1997.
isbn
0394544277 (v. 1) 067943464X (v. 2)
local note
SCAR has v. 1-2.
catalogue key
456372
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1997-11-15:
In 1947 Random House launched its first dictionary, the celebrated American College Dictionary. Today, half a century later, the publisher is recognized as one of the premier lexicographic houses in North America, noted for its careful attention to new vocabulary, both standard and nonstandard. Fittingly, Random House marks its 50th anniversary in the dictionary business with these two major publications, both of which will be familiar to librarians. Volume 2 (H-O) of the slang dictionary, which adds about 10,000 main entries to the corpus, maintains the impressive quality that distinguished Volume 1 (LJ 8/94). The final volume (Q-Z) is scheduled for publication in 2000. This is simply the best slang dictionary ever compiled, and all but the smallest public and academic libraries should have it. The College Dictionary, a descendant of the aforementioned American College Dictionary, first appeared under its current title six years ago (LJ 6/15/91). The new edition is a thorough update, offering first-rate coverage and treatment of American English as used in the mid-1990s. For instance, "chat room" is here, as is the latest connotation of "closure." It competes well with other dictionaries in its class, including Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (LJ 9/1/93) and the American Heritage College Dictionary (1993. 3d ed.). Essential for most collections.‘Ken Kister, author of "Best Encyclopedias," Tampa, Fla. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 1994-11:
This is not the first dictionary of American slang, but it is the first to take a comprehensive, linguistically sound approach to the subject. As such it takes its place as first among all other American slang dictionaries. Scrupulously researched, the first volume of this monumental work bases all of its definitions on accurately quoted and dated examples of slang collected from sources ranging from books and periodicals to television programs, rap lyrics, and personal interviews. The editor has used primary sources almost exclusively, a practice that prevents the work from reprinting errors found in many earlier slang dictionaries. Besides the excellent definitions, three features add immensely to the book's value: first, Lighter's excellent introduction, a lengthy discourse on the history and meaning of slang; second, the selected annotated bibliography, a piece of scholarship that will be of use to students of slang and to librarians who tend reference collections; and, third, the forthcoming bibliography of the 8,000 sources from which the dictionary's entries were collected. This reviewer's only complaint is that volumes 2 and 3 will not appear until 1996 and 1997. They should be worth the wait, however, and if they are priced anything like volume 1, RHHDAS will be one of the reference-book bargains of the century. Librarians should do whatever they must to make room in their budgets and on their shelves for this landmark reference book. Recommended for all libraries where English is spoken. D. A. Barclay; New Mexico State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A landmark publication, at on estroke sweeping its predecessors into the shade. . . It is one of those rare books that prompts the realization that you have never seen the subject in such sharp focus before." --John A. Simpson, Chief Editor,Oxford English Dictionary "A monumental book." --The New York Times "Will do for nonstandard English what theOxford English Dictionarydid for the whole language". --William Safire "No one has ever created a scholarly work that is more fun." --Newsweek "The funniest. . . work of profound lexicographical slang-scholarship ever published. . . The book belongs on every patriotice coffee table." --Nicholson Baker,The New Revies of Books "A browser's joy. . . an awesome tribute to the American popular imagination." --Boston Globe
"A landmark publication, at on estroke sweeping its predecessors into the shade. . . It is one of those rare books that prompts the realization that you have never seen the subject in such sharp focus before." --John A. Simpson, Chief Editor, Oxford English Dictionary "A monumental book." --The New York Times "Will do for nonstandard English what the Oxford English Dictionary did for the whole language". --William Safire "No one has ever created a scholarly work that is more fun." --Newsweek "The funniest. . . work of profound lexicographical slang-scholarship ever published. . . The book belongs on every patriotice coffee table." --Nicholson Baker, The New Revies of Books "A browser's joy. . . an awesome tribute to the American popular imagination." --Boston Globe
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist,
Library Journal, August 1994
Choice, November 1994
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
A detailed essay provides a rich, thorough analysis of American slang, discussing such issues as the development of slang in England and America, the reason slang is used, attitudes toward slang, the ways in which slang is spread throughout a society, and an important--and often ignored--question: what exactly is slang?
Main Description
Theonlyhistorical dictionary of slang -- spanning three hundred years of slang use in America.

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