Throughout history, most dictionaries have served the purpose of preserving the purity of the language, usually preferring the erudite vocabulary of the affluent upper classes to the salty, constantly evolving slang of their working-class counterparts. That began to change in the early modern period, when several innovative lexicographers began publishing collections of slang terms used by particular subcultures, such as criminals. According to scholars, Francis Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue is one of the most important and complete of these early slang dictionaries. Spend some time with this fascinating volume to learn the slang definitions of words and phrases like "poisoned" (pregnant), "shooting the cat" (vomiting after excess alcohol consumption), and "snoozing ken" (a brothel).
First published in 1811, this book is an extensive dictionary of contemporary slang and colloquialisms written by Francis Grose. Francis Grose (before 1731 – 1791) was an English draughtsman, antiquary, and lexicographer. Other notable works by this author include: “The antiquities of England and Wales”, (1784), “A glossary of provincial and local words used in England” (1839) and “The antiquities of Scotland” (1797). “A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue” will appeal those with an interest in lexicography and historical slang, and it would make for a charming addition to any collection. Many vintage books such as this are becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. We are republishing this volume now in a modern, high-quality edition complete with a specially commissioned new introduction on the history of erotic literature.