By Eric Partridge
The definitive paintings on slang and unconventional English, this variation is totally revised and up-to-date via Paul Beale and comprises a few 500 new entries. The dictionary offers an absolutely documented account of English slang over 4 centuries and may entertain and tell all fans of the English language.
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Additional info for A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English: Colloquialisms and Catch Phrases, Fossilised Jokes and Puns, General Nicknames, Vulgarisms, and Such Americanisms As Have Been Naturalised
Abyssinia ! : since mid-1930s. Michael Harrison, Vernal Equinox, 1939. By a pun. Abyssinian medal . A button showing in the fly: military: ca. 1896–1914. ) Ex the Abyssinian War (1893–6). Cf. Star of the East. ac . 20. g. 20. )—2. As the Ac, the Royal Academy: artists’: ca. 1870–1940. Ware. academic nudity . ‘Appearance in public without cap or gown’ (Ware): Oxford University:—1909; † by 1921. academician . A harlot: ca. 1760–1820. Ex academy, a brothel: c. 17–18. 19, academy=a thieves’ school: cf.
Adonis . A kind of wig: ca. 1760–1800: coll. E. Cf. Adonis (1765+), a beau. OED. adonise . 17–19. Society s. that > Society j. adorable . Vachell, 1933, ‘a much debased word; a diabolical twin of “deavie”’: upper and upper-middle class: from ca. 1925. adore . 19–20; (mostly Society) coll. Ados (pron. Aydoss). A ssistant Director of Ordnance Services: army (H. ): WW2 and later. His Deputy was, of course, called ‘Daydoss’. Simple acronyms. adrift . ). Nautical. E. has ‘I’ll turn ye adrift, a Tar-phrase, I’ll prevent ye doing me any harm’; Bowen records the third sense.
19–20. : from ca. —6. See give the air; hot air; lay on air. air and exercise . 18-early 19. —2. —3. : ca. —4. 20. ) Ex 2. air (one’s) bum . See airing, 3. air commode . : since ca. 1925. Jackson. air disturber . A telegraphist rating: RN: since ca. 1930. ) Cf. such derogatory terms, as grub-spoiler, a Navy cook, and:air-flapper . 20. F. & G. air (one’s) heels . 19–early 20: s. >, by 1900, coll. air-hole . ‘A small public garden, gen. a dismally converted graveyard’: London Society: 1885–95. Ware ascribes it to the Metropolitan Public Gardens Assn.