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Green's Dictionary of Slang [3 Vol Set] Hardcover – 26 Nov 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 6128 pages
  • Publisher: Chambers (26 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0550104402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0550104403
  • Product Dimensions: 29.5 x 19.6 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,301,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'No previous work of lexicography has ever stood as such a monument to mankind's baseness and wilful disinclination to self-improve'

'Multi-faceted and unflinching'

'Green's astonishing, peerless collage ... is the entire anglophone world unmediated'

'[Green] belongs to a rare pantheon'

(Jonathan Meades, The Evening Standard)

'the reference work of the vulgar tongue to which all others must now be referred [...] he has now exhibited English slang in more detail than any lexicographer before him' (Jeremy Noel-Tod, The Telegraph)

'... It's not hyperbolic to suggest that it's the OED of slang' (Michael Quinion, World Wide Words.com)

'After more than a decade's labour, Jonathon Green, lexicographer of the subversive, has produced as fine a three-volume dictionary of slang as you would desire to piss upon (1700: phrase meaning "excellent, first-rate").' (Steven Poole, The Guardian)

' ... any language lover will find this as compelling a read as a thriller ... The dictionary is a stupendous achievement, in range, meticulous scholarship, and not least enterainment value' (Christopher Hart, The Sunday Times)

'this is the sort of book that, even when examined for a specific purpose, invites sustained perusal' (Henry Hitchings, Financial Times)

'A magnificent work of scholarship' (Colin MacCabe, The New Statesman)

'The range of sources is breathtaking' (James Sharpe, Times Literary Supplement)

'a wonderfully politically incorrect source of education and entertainment' (Prof. Chris Williams, walesonline.co.uk)

'This is the most significant dictionary of slang that has ever been produced ... Get it.' (Australian Book Review)

'With the historical context and sample sentences, Green's shows the depth and breadth of slang as we've never seen it. It is now the number one authority on slang--for etymology, appropriateness, and social context. If words are your trade, you just don't have a full toolbox without Green's' (www.copyediting.com)


"Jonathan Green's is a dictionary for the ages, as special a catalogue of word-biographies as James Murray himself might have created, and likely to endure as long as the OED...To praise another way: Green's dictionary is, in short, the dog's bollocks." (New York Review of Books)

'Quite simply the best historical dictionary of English slang there is, ever has been ... or is ever likely to be' (Julie Coleman, Journal of English Language and Linguistics)

'A treasure trove of a dictionary. Green's preface hits the nail on the head when he says that it is a work for anyone who is curious enough to open it. Dipping in and out of these three volumes has been a treat and through this process I have definitely increased my vocabulary.' (The Linguist)

Book Description

The greatest survey of slang ever published and winner of the 2012 Dartmouth Medal

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
👍👍👍excellent dictionary of slang!the fullest one.everyone who is interested in slang and nonstandard language should buy it!remarkable work of the author!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x889e3d80) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x889e9030) out of 5 stars What a beauty! 21 Mar. 2011
By eightcats - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this Dictionary because I love words, their origins, their correct use, their misuse, their ambiguity (at times) and the fact that there is always one to describe what you're seeing or thinking or doing or thinking of doing, or have done, or will do. Jonathan Green, with the input of many others, has documented thousands of wonderful slang words used by all manner of people all over the world, and done a fantastic job of it. I'm sure he'll be the first to admit that there are many, many others (I looked for several words and phrases that weren't there) but he should be very proud of this Sisyphean achievement. These tomes are a scholarly, interesting and educational, and frankly just plain fun read. Just pick one up and open it at random. Hard to put down, many entries will bring a smile. As a Kiwi, I was thrilled to find the word 'wopcacker' had been included, but disappointed to find it initially attributed as Australian. I forgive Mr Green this transgression given the tiring late nights he must've beavered to put together such a work of art.
19 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x889e9df8) out of 5 stars Vast but sometimes uncritical compilation 7 Feb. 2011
By Wayne Dynes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Clocking in at 6000 pages (and in small type at that) this is surely the biggest slang dictionary ever compiled. Yet there are some reasons to fear that quantity has triumphed over quality. For example, the entry on "gay" suggests that the meaning "homosexual" may have stemmed from 16th-century French "gaie." This claim is preposterous, for no such meaning for the French adjective has been documented prior to the introduction of the term from the anglophone sphere in the 20th century. The attribution stems from the "Lavender Lexicon" by an enthusiastic California scholar, the late Bruce Rodgers. His book abounds in nonce coinages--that is, words and definitions of words made up by particular individuals of Rodger's acquaintance. To be sure, the popularity of the book may have put some of these gems into circulation afterwards. If so, however, there acceptance should have been documented by another citation. Such is often lacking in the Green work, so that a misleading impression is conveyed. One cannot help wondering also whether some ephemeral words collected on particular US college campuses enjoy any real circulation. Prison usage presents similar problems.

Perusing this set provides real pleasures, but it is not authoritative in the way that, say, Lighter's work on American slang actually is.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x889ee054) out of 5 stars everything I loved in a good dictionary 8 Mar. 2011
By Zhou Qiao - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just about everything. The citations, dates, layout, fonts, paper size and quality, binding.... Such great fun to browse.

The set I got is published by Chambers (2010), not Oxford (2011) as advertised here. Maybe Oxford is issuing it too. But I just love the Chambers style.
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