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Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon Hardcover – 10 Jul 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA; annotated edition edition (10 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195160339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195160338
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 2.6 x 16.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,229,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"If you're curious about the word 'ubersuck, ' or just want to remember which episode you first heard it in, this is the place to look. As Buffy would say, it is not uncool."--Kansas City Star"While we were caught up in the drama of the battles against the undead...linguist Michael Adams was concentrating on the words. Slayer Slang is a combination dictionary of slayer slang/guide to the Buffyverse/textbook. Just consider it another sign Buffy will live forever."--Sacramento Bee"Even if you never watched the show, Slayer Slang provides major clueage about the formation of slang terms in general. Slang, after all, is where language vrooms and vibes--or, in the case of Buffy, where it vamps."--Hartford Courant"In applying linguistic analysis to the show, Adams not only shows how brilliant and innovative the writing was but also its toggling relationship to and influences upon popular culture."--Pittsburgh Tribune-Review"Will satisfy the inner geek of a Buffy fan."--Kansas City Star

About the Author

Michael Adams is Professor of English, Albright College, Reading, Pennsylvania and the editor of Dictionaries: The Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 14 Aug. 2003
Format: Hardcover
If the question is posed as to whether “Slayer Slang: A ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Lexicon” by Michael Adams will introduce more fans of the late lamented cult television series to the study of philology or send more philologists to check out the series on DVD and/or in syndication, then I would have to cast my vote for the first option. Hopefully, fans will recognize that their enjoyment of slang on “BtVS” has always entailed an appreciation of the presentation and analysis of the peculiar use of language on the various episodes and related paperback novels, all of which are now rendered as “texts” in this academic endeavor by Adams.
The first half of the volume presents what are essentially a series of essays. “Slayer Slang” looks at both the series as a phenomenon and the role that both slayer jargon (words peculiar to the occupation of being a slayer) and slayer slang (the pointed way in which Buffy and the Scoobies speak, with all their attendant pop culture references) in establishing the show’s successful slayer style. If you can follow how slayer jargon can turn into slayer slang, then you are holding your own on the academic side of the equation. But the success here is in the details, and when Adams explains how Faith’s idiosyncratic slang differs from Xander and the others most readers should be able to appreciate the analysis. “Making Slayer Slang” covers the attraction of prefixes and the happy endings provided by using suffixes, with Adams become absolutely wistful as he covers the impressive number of words contributed to the lexicon by using “-age” as a hyperactive suffix.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Wallace on 15 Aug. 2003
Format: Hardcover
I got this as a gift (thanks darling ::smooch!::) and came to buy another one for a fellow Buffyholic -- I saw that other review and wanted to say WTF? I didn't notice any serious errors and I have seen every episode multiple times, plus I've got all the script books.
And as for words which aren't in the shows, the author points out that some of the words are from the comix, the novels, and the fan boards! There are lots more Buffy words here than just from the shows.
This is the only book that takes Buffy language seriously--a must for any Buffy fan.
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By Trotsky on 12 Feb. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Am partway through...
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9 of 27 people found the following review helpful By deathisyourgift2001 on 23 July 2003
Format: Hardcover
When you buy a book that is full of facts, you expect the author to get the facts right. Well this book was chock full of mistakes, from the names of episodes, to who said which quote, and which episode the quote was in etc.. It was nightmare trying to figure out what this guy was talking about with all his mistakes, I mean some of the slayer slang words he used were the wrong ones, and have never even exsisted, and examples he used for others didn't even come from the show. If you are a serious Buffy fan this book will bother you, so don't buy it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
A remarkable glossary, but the essays go on a bit. 18 Sept. 2003
By J. Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I can sum up the first 125 pages of this book as follows: Slayer slang is very creative, occasionally rebellious, and slang should be appreciated for what it is.
Michael Adams makes these three points repeatedly and often, giving case after case after case for each one. It's not a bad thing to make a point strongly, but making it repetitively gets a little tiresome.
Still, the prose flows well, and his arguments are clear and well-put, so it's not as though it's simply a hundred pages of retreaded material. Adams' points may well be new ones to the ears of some, and in that case the essays are definitely worth the read.
Of course, that leaves us with almost 200 pages of glossary, the part of the book that provides us with the most useful and most interesting information. The entries are formatted clearly, providing plenty of quotation to put the words in context, and the selection is broad, covering not only the episodes, but also the original movie, the Bronze message boards, newspaper and magazine articles and books and graphic novels.
I wouldn't count this as a "must-have" for hardcore fans of the show, as they either know the words already or don't need a hardcover glossary to catch up. This book is most useful for people with a casual interest in linguistics and the show, as well as those who are just interested in slang and its place in modern society.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Slayer slang is simply academic after this book 14 Aug. 2003
By Lawrance Bernabo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If the question is posed as to whether "Slayer Slang: A `Buffy the Vampire Slayer' Lexicon" by Michael Adams will introduce more fans of the late lamented cult television series to the study of philology or send more philologists to check out the series on DVD and/or in syndication, then I would have to cast my vote for the first option. Hopefully, fans will recognize that their enjoyment of slang on "BtVS" has always entailed an appreciation of the presentation and analysis of the peculiar use of language on the various episodes and related paperback novels, all of which are now rendered as "texts" in this academic endeavor by Adams.
The first half of the volume presents what are essentially a series of essays. "Slayer Slang" looks at both the series as a phenomenon and the role that both slayer jargon (words peculiar to the occupation of being a slayer) and slayer slang (the pointed way in which Buffy and the Scoobies speak, with all their attendant pop culture references) in establishing the show's successful slayer style. If you can follow how slayer jargon can turn into slayer slang, then you are holding your own on the academic side of the equation. But the success here is in the details, and when Adams explains how Faith's idiosyncratic slang differs from Xander and the others most readers should be able to appreciate the analysis. "Making Slayer Slang" covers the attraction of prefixes and the happy endings provided by using suffixes, with Adams become absolutely wistful as he covers the impressive number of words contributed to the lexicon by using "-age" as a hyperactive suffix. I have to admit, I probably learned more about the parts of language from Adams's analysis of shifty slang, what with nouns becoming adjectives and such, than I learned in school (I picked up the rules of grammar by osmosis, i.e., what is known in some circles as reading). But when he covers the mixed etymologies in slayer slang and deals with the mind boggling problem presented by "Edge Girl" in terms of being the product of so many current sense of "girl," he is clearly reaching the limits of endurance for most readers.
"Studying the Micro-histories of Words" starts off looking at what has been going on in popular culture in the real world to create such things as actuation, before going off into a wonderful look at all the baggage in American English carried by the name "Buffy." Once again Adams launches into some philological pyrotechnics on lexical gaps, loose idioms, and folk etymologies before quickly ending this chapter as well. The final essay, "Ephemeral Language," is where Adams will leave most "BtVS" fans in the dust as he looks at the significance of slayer slang in larger terms, namely what it tells us about the current state of the English language.
The second half of the volume consists of a glossary, albeit one edited down from the massive collection of words and derived forms of words Adams originally compiled by October 2002. Still, hundreds of words from "activeness" (noun, Propensity to do [illicit] things) to "X-man" (n, Xander) are covered, included detailed looks at "Buffy," "dust," "much, "slaying," "vamp," and "wiggins," not to mention myriad variations of each You may well wonder why Adams did not wait a few more months until "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" had finished production, but since he is also including the various novels and short stories that have been published about "BtVS" even that accommodation would not have provided a true sense of completeness since there is always another Nancy Holder or Mel Odom novel around the bend. Besides, Adams points out that if you happen to find your favorite item of slayer slang missing you can contact him to get the complete academic profile.
I cannot imagine too many "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fans sitting down and reading "Slayer Slang" cover to cover. Instead I see them working their way through one of the essays, or a particular section, and flipping through the glossary to read about "smoochies," "Exorcist twist," or "five-by-five." My best advice would be to read through an essay and when you find a part that you think is particularly interesting to go look at the extended examples in the glossary. I would not think it would be easy for most readers to do the reverse and work from a word in the glossary to the relevant philology point in an earlier essay. The bottom line is that fans of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" will find some serious intellectual weight to throw behind their love for the show after reading "Slayer Slang."
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Wacky Words and Lovely Linguistics! 13 Jun. 2003
By Amy Weihmann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I am not a huge Buffy fan (I've just seen the last couple of seasons) but I got this as a present and it's GREAT. You really get a feel for how English is changing and how tv shows like Buffy are pushing the boundaries of our language.
There's a lot of information here but it's not hard to read. I read a lot of it straight through. I thought I was pretty strict about "correct grammar" but this guy makes some really good points about how language changes. He really won me over.
The words from the show are so funny! I'm going to use a lot of them, especially "much," like "lame much?" or "late much?"
I recommend this for anyone who likes Buffy, or for anyone who just likes words.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Obsess much? 20 Nov. 2003
By Emily Held - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A cool idea that repeats itself a bit too much - the explanatory chapters reiterate glossary info, and there are just a few too many source listings for most of the words. I wouldn't normally admit to reading all the Buffy tie-ins, but some of them definately aren't worth citing. There also seems to be a lot net slang included for no reason other than it "originating" on a fan related board. A nifty idea, but I'm not sure it's worth the pageage - Adams definately comes across as an overzealous fan.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I'm a Buffyatric! 27 Jun. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I'm a big fan of the show (I guess that means I'm a Buffyholic) and this book sums up why. The writers are so playful with language, and by incoporating youth culture slang and morphing it into Buffyspeak they bring an authenticity to the show. A sense of the real. And that's saying something for a show about vampires. I love how serious the glossary is too. Makes me want to become a professor of Buffy studies. I love this dictionary. It's so much fun!
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