By Julie Coleman
The ebook of Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue revolutionized the lexicography of non-standard English. His impression is felt in lots of the dictionaries lined during this quantity which reproduction, variously, his conscientiously documented reliance on written resources, his thrilled revelation of first-hand adventure of the seedier aspect of London existence, and his word-list. in this interval, glossaries of cant are thrown into the coloration by way of dictionaries of slang, which come with the language of thieves, yet hide a much wider spectrum of non-standard English. whereas cant represented a realistic possibility to estate and existence, slang used to be an ethical chance to the very constitution of society. within the 1820s, Pierce Egan's lifestyles in London tested how renowned and winning slang literature can be one of the lots. This quantity additionally contains the earliest Australian and American slang glossaries, via participants like James Hardy Vaux (a convict transported thrice) and George Matsell (New York's first leader of police).
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Additional resources for A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries, Volume II: 1785-1858
2), Grose’s interests were much wider than this. He does include cant, but this is a dictionary of non-standard English in general. Unlike many of his predecessors in canting lexicography, Grose gives credit to his sources. Instead of claiming originality, he parades his scholarly credentials: [the canting] terms have been collected from the following Treatises: The Bellman of London, . —1608 . . —1615 English Villainies, . —London 1638. 16 These sources are not quite as extensive as they appear.
Of these, only one is found in B. ’s dictionary, though defined in different terms: B. E. Sconce, to build a large Sconce, to run deep upon Tick, or Trust. Classical Dictionary SCONCE . . to build a sconce, a military term for bilking one’s quarters . . Others could be derived from Grose’s own experience, including: BUTCHER, a jocular exclamation used at sea, or by soldiers on a march, when one of their comrades falls down, and means, butcher! butcher! where are you? here is a calf that has the staggers, and wants bleeding.
One day David’s wife having taken a cup too much, and being fearful of the consequences, turned out the sow, and lay down to sleep herself sober, in the stye. A company coming in to see the sow, David ushered them into the stye, exclaiming there is a sow for you! did any of you ever see such another? all the while supposing the sow had really been there; to which some of the company, seeing the state the woman was in, replied, it was the drunkenest sow they had ever beheld; whence the woman was ever after called David’s sow.
A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries, Volume II: 1785-1858 by Julie Coleman