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...

Slang in Stereotype

What is slang all about? Jonathon muses on stereotypes, in life and in the counter-language that holds up its dark mirror to life... I am in a cab. The cabbie asks what work I do. I explain that I write dictionaries. Dictionaries, that is, of slang. And the cabbie, who stands ... Read More...

Time for a Line

It's holiday time, and Mr Slang is spending his summer constructing interactive timelines of popular terms for the penis. You ain't seen nothing like this before... It’s August. Holiday time, I gather. I had mine in June but no matter. My short-lived tan has faded and my mind is blank. Slang ... Read More...

Slang für Kinder

In honour of the new Princeling, Mr Slang is talking kids... I love children, as Nancy Mitford put it so well, especially when they cry: for then someone takes them away. Mitford of course lived in Paris where they have a more robust attitude to those who have yet to acquire ... Read More...

Heroes of Slang 25: Robert Copland

Jonathon Green introduces a 16th century printer and 'compiler of cant' who arguably produced the very first dictionary of slang... Bokes be not set by: there tymes is past, I gesse; The dyse and cardes, in drynkynge wyne and ale, Tables, cayles[1], and balles, they be now sette a sale Men lete theyr chyldren ... Read More...

Heroes of Slang 24: Nelson Algren

He was the bard of Chicago and he tried to steal Simone de Beauvoir from Satre... Mr Slang introduces the man behind The Man with the Golden Arm... As Hamlet put it, look here upon this picture. And see before you, dare I attest, a proper writer: specs, work-shirt, hair a little ... Read More...