The Fighting Loamshires

Mr Slang raises a fourth glass of port to the famous Loamshire regiment, heroes of innumerable imaginary battles... ‘All that remains is the orderly –sergeant’s voice reading orders to the new blood in the quiet summer evening in sleepy Loamshire, with its laughing English fields and gay hedgerows spread about the ... Read More...

Oi veh! – Mr Slang’s Guide to Yiddish

‘Adam gave names to all created things; his Yiddish-speaking descendants offer critiques' - here's Jonathon Green's guide to the Jewish language of the put-down... Yiddish, sometimes known as Jüdisch -Deutsch (Jewish-German)  is the dialect of German spoken by the German or Ashkenazi (Hebrew: ‘German’, i.e. European) Jews. It has been recorded ... Read More...

Twelve hundred words for Drunk

Happy New Year from all the Dabblers. To get you in the mood for tonight's celebrations, here's Mr Slang's very first dabble from the archives, all about being drunk... If I do a rough count of the main themes that inform my recently published Green’s Dictionary of Slang, I find – ... Read More...

The Lexicography of Erotica

Continuing last fortnight's theme, Mr Slang examines the lexicography of 'specialist' book titles, and uncovers a "grim commentary on the tropes of male excitement..." This is it, I promise. The last one. But pondering the verbose titles of the 19th century pornography, I could but compare them with modernity, or nearly ... Read More...

The Dirty Bookshops of Holywell Street

Jonathon Green takes a trip to the 'specialist' bookshops of The Backside of St Clements... All gone now. What you’re looking at above is the Australian High Commission (though didn’t that get knocked down too a year ago or so?). Like Fred and Rose’s lair at 25 Cromwell Street, Holywell Street had ... Read More...

The 12 Days of Christmas Slang

After reading this post, singing about a partridge in a pear tree will never be quite the same again... Twelve drummers drumming, Eleven pipers piping, Ten lords a-leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree! So they do sing. ... Read More...