Jonathon Green, aka ’Mr Slang’, has drawn on the 600,000-plus citations that make up his magisterial Green’s Dictionary of Slang (published 2010, now online at www.greensdictofslang.com) to tell some of slang’s most entertaining stories.
Categories range from The Body to Pulp Diction, via multi-cultural London English and pun-tastic gems.
Mostly gazing up from the gutter, slang, perhaps surprisingly, also embraces the stars.
These stories may look at drunken sailors, dubious doctors, and a shelf of dangerously potent cocktails, but slang does class acts as well.
None more so than Shakespeare.
Devotee of the double entendre, master of the pun, first to put nearly 300 slang terms in print.
’Shakespeare, uses, at my count, just over five hundred ˝slang˝ terms, of which 277 are currently the first recorded use of a given term.
Among these are the beast with two backs, every mother’s son, fat-headed, heifer (for woman), pickers and stealers (hands), small beer (insignificant matters), what the dickens, and many more