This curious text is not just a compilation or history¾it is fun!
You don’t need to be a philologist or an etymologist to become engrossed in this book on the “vulgar tongue,” popular language and not crude or coarse talk. This is the classic of all classics. First published in 1785, this is a reprint of the third edition that appeared in 1931. It contains the fashionable words and favorite expressions of those olden days, many of which have endured to this day and others that have long since been abandoned. Who would ever think that a “damper” was a snack before dinner? On the other hand, some might agree that “poisoned” is an apt expression for “big with child.” It is guaranteed that you will find much to chuckle over in this book when you come across such expressions as “belly cheat,” which is defined as an apron. There are also terms that might very well match current practices, such as “whitewashed,” which refers to “one who has taken the benefit of an act of insolvency to defraud his creditors.” You won’t want to put this book down.
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Captain Francis Grose (1730-1791), was a notable antiquarian, famous for numerous works on or related to antiquities.
Eric Partridge (1894-1979) was a lexicographer. He authored over forty books on the English language.
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