Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Green's Dictionary of Slang

A bit of a coup for the Dabbler, as we have an exclusive post from Jonathon Green, the English language's leading lexicographer of slang, and author of the astonishing Green's Dictionary of Slang.

When I emailed Jonathon to ask him if he'd like to contribute a post about slang, he said he'd be happy to oblige, but pointed out that his only problem would be choosing, out of 125,000 slang terms, which areas to concentrate on, as the brief seemed rather broad.

'Ah yes', I replied. 'I suppose there are quite a lot of ways you could cut it. How about English slang terms for 'drunk'?'

'Drunk is no problem', he said. 'None at all.'


Sean said...

He looks very cross in his photo, is there good and bad slang?

Aussie slang is the best,I was at a party in Oz in my youth when one happy guy told me he was off for a drive and a root, I thought he was going for a drive to find a nice picnic spot to set up a barbecue or something. I thought it was short for roasting.

A few days later I called by his place and in front of his whole family asked him how he got on with the barbecue? "sorry" he said, you know the Roast on the barbecue "sorry I am not with ya mate" I think you called in rooting, I explained.

At this point his life force exited his body, A bit like you see with most Australians on TV at the moment.

Brit said...

He does look splendidly imperious, doesn't he?

Jon Hotten said...

Ask him if he knows of a relative of mine, john Camden Hotten, Victorian rogue, compiler of an early dictionbary of slang, and author of the raunchy pamphlet, Lady Bumtickler's Revels [I can't tell you how happy this family connection makes me...]

Brit said...

I will - though you could ask him yourself. He's answering comments on The Dabbler, and has promised to write some more posts.