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Dictionary of American Slang Paperback – Feb 1980


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Paperback, Feb 1980
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Amazon.com: 31 reviews
114 of 119 people found the following review helpful
Probably the Best of Three Slang Dictionaries I Skimmed 27 Feb. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In the library, I did a side-by-side comparison of this book (Chapman: Dictionary of American Slang, 3rd ed., 1995) with: (a) Spears, Richard: NTC's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions, 3rd ed., 2000 and (b) Green, Jonathon: Cassell Dictionary of Slang, 1998. The advantages of this dictionary over the other two are: (1) some words and phrases are in this book but not the other two (e.g., "love bug," "love me, love my dog"); (2) it gives specific quotations and sources (e.g., "Had Feldstein deliberately low-balled the original numbers? - Newsweek"); (3) it indicates what sort of people originated or might use the word/phrase (e.g. "lot louse... [used in the] circus"); and (4) thorough cross-references are integrated into the body of the dictionary (e.g., "love, see CALF LOVE, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, PUPPY LOVE"). It has 617 pages and claims to have 19,000 entries, which is between the other two books. On the other hand, the Cassell Dictionary contains a large percentage of the entries in this book as well as many more entries, and it's the oldest of the three dictionaries. Still, if you had to buy only one of the three, this is probably the one to get.
51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Excellent resource 30 Jun. 2000
By scherf.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This dictionary is an absolute must-have for every writer, fiction or nonfiction. We haven't found a better slang dictionary yet. It has virtually all the slang words in there, words that you just won't find anywhere else. One of the very nice and helpful features is that it tells you in what year the word was used first and susequently, and in which publication (book or newspaper, etc.), and how the meaning changed over the course of the decades. The dictionary also has sentence examples on how the word was used, e.g. in which context, so you know exactly when and how to use it in your applications. It's just very interesting to find out the original meaning and usage of certain slang words and to enrich your own vocabulary. We highly recommend it!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
One Indispensible Reference 29 May 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're into words, slang, and idioms like I am, then you probably already own a reference book like this and realize that you need at least 2-3 similar books to find the real nuances of meaning that you want.
This book definitely qualifies to be one of them. The definitions are thoughtful and precise, and there are significantly fewer 'disappointments' (at lousy or omitted definitions/terms) than with other books of it's kind.
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Great reference for non-native American speakers 22 Nov. 2000
By "fireflyboy" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book seems not as "eduactional" as other heritage or historical dictionaries proclaimed to be but it is really of great help to a non-native American speaker, like me, who from Taiwan to get indepth of American ways of life. Whenever I run across an expression in American movies or TV sit-coms, not very often I fail to get the satisfactory explanation with the detailed notes and usages. Therefore I picked up expressions such as: refrigerator mother, fag, net-sex, digital sex and so forth, that frequently used in American movie lines or even in real life but taken to be the "taboo words" in English-Chinese dictionary. Slangs have no any color of offensivenss but depends on how people use them. It is a pity for the international lanuages learners if they think the slang is not good enough to pick up. Once you have a command of slang, you will be really into lives of slang users
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The best book of American Slang available 15 Mar. 2006
By Christian Wickert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've been using Chapman's slang dictionary for years and I definitely couldn't do without it. It's comprehensive, contains sample sentences, and spans a wide area from black slang and youth slang to business, politics, computers, you name it. This book has almost never failed. By now, a lot of expressions and words can also be found in the best English dictionary around: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, with much more current examples of usage. But looking for words in Chapmans book also takes some getting used to, but once you've figured it out you're all set. For example: "to be in the driver's seat" cannot be found under "driver" or "seat", but under "in the ...", which is awkward. Although there's a cross-reference under "driver's seat" to "in the driver's seat", in a whole lot of other cases there's no such reference. And "All over the ballpark" is listed under "all over ...", not "ballpark". For this reason, you sometimes have to take each word of a longer expression and go on a wild goose chase to find the whole expression in the book. Yet, once you've gotten the hang of it, it's ok. Still, great dictionary of slang.
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