A fascinating mixture of the clever, the colorful, the crude, and the coarse, this first historical dictionary to be devoted exclusively to American slang has been in progress for more than two decades. Volume 1 of the projected three-volume set covers A-G; volumes 2 (H-R) and 3 (S-Z) are scheduled for publication in 1996 and 1997, respectively. In his excellent 27-page introduction, Lighter, a research associate in the English department of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, traces the historical development of slang in the English language and discusses its sociological and cultural aspects. Following the introduction, Lighter provides a useful, annotated bibliography of significant books and articles dealing with American slang and an admirably thorough guide to the dictionary.
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