London: Printed for C. Chappel, Pall-Mall, 1811.
First Edition thus (fourth overall). 8vo. Bound in quarter contemporary calf and marbled boards Vancil, p. 103; O'Neill G-43. Item #319351
Francis Grose (1731-1791) was the lexicographer of the low life: his dictionary of vulgar and slang words, which appeared under several different titles, was the most complete of the eighteenth century, and appeared in numerous editions (including a facsimile reprint in 1968). It is interesting to note that some slang has been transformed by time into “normal” usage: freshman, lop-sided, lag; other has survived in slightly altered form: “to kid” (coax), “hidebound” (stingy); and much of it has disappeared entirely. Among the many examples of the latter are such gems as “Mousetrap: The parson's mousetrap; the state of matrimony”, “Uphills: False dice that run high”, “Scandal Broth: Tea”, and “Lawful Blanket: A wife”. Reading this book is like eating peanuts—once you begin, it's hard to stop.
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