By Eric Partridge
The definitive paintings on slang and unconventional English, this version is absolutely revised and up to date through Paul Beale and contains a few 500 new entries. The dictionary offers an absolutely documented account of English slang over 4 centuries and should entertain and tell all fans of the English language.
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Extra resources for A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English: Colloquialisms and Catch Phrases, Fossilised Jokes and Puns, General Nicknames, Vulgarisms, and Such Americanisms As Have Been Naturalised
1860, ob. by 1900. , 1st ed. An artificial word: perhaps on abscond and squat, with a L. ending, perhaps that of undulate, as of a snake undulating and slithering away. During the 1830s–70s, such arbitrary humorous forms abounded in US slangy and colloquial speech: and to seek reason in, and for, their origin is perhaps unreasonable. As in England of ca. 1580–1720—and since—slang has owed much to scholars in their more convivial moods and moments, so too in US. These spontaneous word-playings by the light-hearted literate were often adopted by the semi-literate and occ.
I doubt whether the etym. will ever be solved. On maturer consideration I tentatively suggest that s. ’—2. 20. ackers . Ac tivity at physical exercises: Pangbourne Nautical College: since ca. 1950. —2. See Akkas. ’ackin’ corf . e. coll. , illiterate when serious. ackle . To fit, or function, properly, esp. as in ‘It (or she) won’t ackle’: RFC/RAF, 1917–19, perhaps orig. ; still current late 1970s, and has long been gen. ’=can you make it work? ) ackman . 18–19. v. F. & H. adduces also ack-pirate and ack-riff .
Signalese for first two letters of AWOL, the official abbr. ackermaracker . Tea (the beverage): low: since ca. 1920. ’s orig. etym. was, ‘The form (acker-mar-acker) suggests tea reversed and distorted from act to ack; ack elab. ’ In 1970 he added: in TLS, 16 Oct. , but, with all his marvellous ingenuity and celebrated cerebration (I write this not ironically but admiringly), he has proposed no origination. My own, I admit, is too ingenious by half. I doubt whether the etym. will ever be solved.