Discussion Forum

Please consider registering

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —

— Match —

— Forum Options —

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Best slang dictionaries?
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I want to get one or two slang dictionaries, and just happened upon The concise new Partridge dictionary of slang and unconventional English in a google search about emphatic intensifiers. (Yeah, something I happen to be doing at 5:30am on a Saturday morning!)

What are some of the best?
Does Grant have favorites?

Forum Posts: 155
Member Since:
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I would not purport to speak for Grant Barrett, but I believe he might recommend the Official Dictionary of Unofficial English or the more genre-specific The Oxford Dictionary of American Political Slang (both edited and compiled by Grant Barrett). I believe both he and Martha Barnett have recommended the Historical Dictionary of American Slang, but I might have the wrong title for that one. I’m sure someone here will correct me.

That said, slang dictionaries would seem to be much more difficult to compile than standard-English dictionaries. “Standard” American or British English transforms slowly. But, in our increasingly-connected age, new slang arises, catches afire, and burns out in the span of months, not years, and everyone is on to new slang in a similar cycle. Many of the words with any staying power have to do with the technology that itself fosters this rapid transition — e.g., “google” or “friend” as verbs. My point is that any slang dictionary that is not some kind of online wiki-type collection is going to be outdated before it ever goes to print.

Historical and etymological dictionaries are still a lot of fun, though (one of my favorites, though it is very dated and very British is The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins (3d ed., Robert Hendrickson ed. 2004). It describes the origins of some interesting phrases and words, and makes for good random reading.

Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Oh. Yeah. Duh. :->

Can you name some online wiki ones other than Urban Dictionary? I use that one, but sometimes it’s hard to know when an entry is serious (as opposed to a joke or criticism of a related entry, say) or when a word or phrase is actually common (instead of someone just now making it up). If an entry has 5 thumbs up and 5 thumbs down, how should you take it?

Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 1147

Currently Online:
3 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Heimhenge: 927

Bob Bridges: 680

Ron Draney: 673

deaconB: 565

Robert: 482

RobertB: 476

tromboniator: 440

Dick: 426

samaphore: 312

dilettante: 287

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 611

Members: 3062

Moderators: 1

Admins: 5

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 1

Topics: 3364

Posts: 17836

Newest Members: rjpatton20022002, The CrimsonChin, Jay in Vermont, yehuda, Sean O, Kerfuffle, ibra89, Christopher Hart, ladyboss, christie hubbard

Administrators: Martha Barnette: 820, Grant Barrett: 1444, EmmettRedd: 757, Glenn: 1713, timfelten: 0