Catalogue


Ware's Victorian dictionary of slang and phrase /
J. Redding Ware ; introduction by John Simpson.
imprint
Oxford : Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, 2013.
description
xii, 271 p. ; 21 cm.
ISBN
1851242627 (hbk.), 9781851242627 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford : Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, 2013.
isbn
1851242627 (hbk.)
9781851242627 (hbk.)
general note
"First published in 1909 ... as Passing English of the Victorian era : a dictionary of heterodox English, slang and phrase ..."--T.p. verso.
catalogue key
8895280
A Look Inside
Summaries
Main Description
Acutely aware of the changes affecting English at the end of the Victorian era, writer and journalist J. Redding Ware set out to record words and turns of phrase from all walks of life, from the curses in common use by sailors to the rhyming slang of the street and the jargon of the theater dandies. In doing so, he extended the lifespan of words like "air-hole," "lally-gagging," and "bow-wow mutton." First published in 1909 and reproduced here with a new introduction by Oxford English Dictionary editor John Simpson, Ware's Victorian Dictionary of Slang and Phrase reflects the rich history of unofficial English. Many of the expressions are obsolete; one is not likely to have the misfortune of encountering a "parlour jumper." Order a "shant of bivvy" at the pub and you'll be met with a blank stare. But some of the entries reveal the origins of expressions still in use today, such as calling someone a "bad egg" to indicate that they are dishonest or of ill-repute. While showing the significant influence of American English on Victorian slang, the Dictionary also demonstrates how impressively innovative its speakers were. A treasure trove of everyday language of the nineteenth century, this book has much to offer in terms of insight into the intriguing history of English and will be of interest to anyone with a passion for words.
Main Description
Acutely aware of the changes in English usage at the close of the Victorian era, the lexicographer James Redding Ware (1832-1909) decided to record for posterity new and archaic words and phrases from all walks of life, from the curses in common use by sailors and the rhyming slang of the street to the jargon of the theatre dandies. Where else would you turn to learn the meaning of 'Bow-wow mutton', 'Air-hole', 'Lally-gagging' and 'Damper'?Ware's dictionary, first published in 1909, is a treasure trove of the everyday language of the nineteenth century, showing the influence of American English on Victorian slang as well as historical and innovative words and phrases. While it presents numerous expressions now obsolete, and some terms and definitions in the idiom of the era which would not now be considered acceptable, it also uncovers the origins and meaning of many slang words still in use today.Reproduced in facsimile with an introduction by John Simpson, Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, this dictionary provides a fascinating and highly entertaining witness to the colourful history of unofficial English.

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