From the publisher:
For the 411 on American slang, this reference is the top banana.
From "hot head" to "nose job," "beer belly" to "pain in the butt," "knee jerk" to "foot in mouth disease," slang is an integral and natural part of our conversational language. We may not be able to define it, but we know it when we see it. Author and leading authority Richard Spears takes on the colloquialisms, vulgarities, and substandard English that form the "general slang" that you are likely to encounter in everyday interactions in contemporary American life.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions, Fourth Edition, provides complete definitions of thousands of slang and informal expressions ranging from golden oldies such as catch some rays and take the fifth to recent coinages like shizzle (gangsta), jonx (Wall Street), and ping (the Internet). Each entry includes one or more examples illustrating how an expression is used in everyday conversation. Wherever necessary, International Phonetic Alphabet pronunciations are provided. And throughout, cautionary notes alert you to crude, inflammatory, or taboo expressions.
This fully revised and updated edition now features:
- 12,000 terms from an array of sources, including gangsta rap,
1M acronyms, surfer talk, Valley Girls, the blogosphere, and
- A fascinating introduction, "What Is Slang?", explores the
different categories of slang expressions, their origins, and
- A Thematic Index cross-references expressions by standard terms, such as Angry, Drunk, Food, Good-bye, Mess-up,
Money, and Stupidity
- A Hidden Word Index lets you identify and locate even
partially remembered expressions by looking up any major
word in the phrase
RICHARD A. SPEARS, PH.D., is a former reference editor and linguistics professor at Northwestern University. He has written more than 150 dictionaries.
Regarding the prior edition:
The most practical reference for the informal expressions of comtemporary American English. Richard A. Spears, Ph.D.
From Booklist: This is the perfect slang dictionary for young adults. Many of the 800 new expressions come from the Internet and submissions from college students. It is a dictionary in the strictest sense of the word. The 10,000 words are simply defined, with at least one usage example and the part of speech of the word. Some entries include pronunciation, but there is no indication of derivation or date of first use. The author has included terms that he believes are currently in frequent use.
Because so much of slang is derived from crime and vice, it is not surprising that many of the slang words deal with criminals, drugs, alcohol, and sex--fink, doobie, kegger, hook shop. The worst (ethnic) slang has been omitted, but there are a number of words with the warning taboo or objectionable. Slang of the nineties is represented by examples such as kevork ("to kill someone," based on the name for Dr. Jack Kevorkian), SYSOP ("system operator"), and a quarter page on keyboard Smileys.
The Cassell Dictionary of Slang [RBB My 15 99] remains the most extensive one-volume slang dictionary, but NTC's Dictionary will be a popular purchase in public, high-school, and academic libraries.
From Book News, Inc.: Concise explanations of 8,500 contemporary slang and colloquial expressions. Each entry features examples of expressions in context. Alternative definitions are provided and related expressions are cross-referenced. An index lists all "non-initial" words. Pronunciation is given when needed. No etymology. Spears (linguistics, Northwestern U.) has done an impressive job--not perfect, we're still seeking "fantods". Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Hardcover. 575 pages. 4th edition.
(Prior third edition) NTC Publishing Group. ISBN: 0844204617.
Dimensions (in inches): 9.25 x 6.26x 1.1