New Dictionary of American Slang
About this book
Dollars to doughnuts, your reference shelf lacks a good slang dictionary, and that's a fine how-de-do. Whether you're a stuffy writer looking to gussy up your prose, a poindexter who thinks studying dictionaries is the cat's pajamas, or a muttonheaded fogey hoping to get a clue, Robert Chapman's Dictionary of American Slang fills the bill. Containing more than 19,000 terms of American slang, this lexicon represents all periods of American history, from phrases out of the 1880s, such as carrot-top for "redhead," to current '90s jargon such as carjacking. It covers the widely acceptable and the taboo, slang from cowboys and railroad workers and slang from rock & rollers, corporate America, and the gay community. It includes obsolete phrases such as canoeing for "making-out," and up-to-date terms relating to technology, such as listserv for "electronic mail list." Each item features pronunciation guides, word origins, and usage examples, and words that are derogatory or impolite are clearly labeled as such. A righteous reference and a lulu of a browser, the Dictionary of American Slangis an elegantly produced and scholarly rigorous linguistic knockout. --Stephanie Gold
Not my favorite slang dictionary, but it's a bit more up-to-date than some that I own, and it's pretty huge, for plenty of exploring fun.