oxford-dictionary-of-slang

Oxford Dictionary of Slang

By: John Ayto

LKR 1,793

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Paperback : 480 pages
Publisher : Oxford University Press, USA (October 2003)
ISBN - 10 : 0198607636
ISBN - 13 : 9780198607632
Product Dimensions : 7.70 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)
Subjects : English Language Reference

About the author :

John Ayto is a professional lexicographer and author. His previous publications include The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang, The Oxford Diner's Dictionary, and A Gourmet's Guide: Food & Drink from A-Z. He lives in London.


Slang is language with its sleeves rolled up, colorful, pointed, brash, bristling with humor and sometimes with hostility. Now, in The Oxford Dictionary of Slang, John Ayto has brought together over 10,000 slang words and phrases common to 20th-century English, to provide a comprehensive and highly engaging guide to the most outspoken corner of our language.
Unlike most such dictionaries, this volume is organized thematically, with slang words gathered under such headings as "the body and its functions" or "sustenance and intoxication." Within each section, the words are listed chronologically, starting with the century's earliest words and phrases and progressing right through to the present day, thus illuminating the development of slang and colloquial language over the last hundred years. Word origins and other interesting features of usage are given wherever possible, as are illustrative quotations from a wide range of authors. A comprehensive A Z index lists all words included in the dictionary, so you can find a particular word quickly.
From "five-finger discount" to "forty-rod whiskey," here is an authoritative and up-to-date record of slang throughout the English-speaking world.

Express-Times (Easton, PA)

The Oxford Dictionary of Slang is a ryebuck, spiffing, thumping collection of gubbins and tot. Translation: it's an excellent, excellent, large collection of unspecified things and objects collected from refuse.

Library Journal

Books of slang are always fun to read, and this one is no exception. More of a thesaurus for its division into subject categories, this little reference gathers over 10,000 slang words from Great Britain, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. A helpful index lists all the entries, but multiple citations under one word (e.g., "swing") make for tedious page flipping, and the page numbers are inconveniently placed. Under each category, words are listed not alphabetically but chronologically by first written use, thus requiring a search through the whole list. Some categories have pages of words (e.g., "foolish person," "prison," "drinking," "drunks"), whereas it is hard to believe that "bald person" has but one slang word ("slaphead"). The 10,000 entries are just too few to cover the entire English-speaking world; "gay," "ho'," "bottom line," and "born-again," for example, are not even included. Ayto, a professional lexicographer and the author of several dictionaries (e.g., Dictionary of Word Origins), should have limited his research to just one country. One can learn quite a bit of rhyming slang, however: "Hampstead Heath" for teeth; "flowery," short for flowery dell, for prison cell. Not useful as a standard library reference but suitable for casual browsing.-Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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