Books on Language at Ash Rare Books

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BOOKS ON LANGUAGE

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HOTTEN, John Camden, 1832-1873 – publisher : THE SLANG DICTIONARY; OR, THE VULGAR WORDS, STREET PHRASES, AND “FAST” EXPRESSIONS OF HIGH AND LOW SOCIETY. MANY WITH THEIR ETYMOLOGY, AND A FEW WITH THEIR HISTORY TRACED.

HOTTEN, John Camden, 1832-1873 – publisher : THE SLANG DICTIONARY; OR, THE VULGAR WORDS, STREET PHRASES, AND “FAST” EXPRESSIONS OF HIGH AND LOW SOCIETY. MANY WITH THEIR ETYMOLOGY, AND A FEW WITH THEIR HISTORY TRACED.

London : John Camden Hotten, 1864. [Third edition]. First published in 1859 as “A Dictionary of Modern Slang”, containing 3,000 examples, the present edition has more than tripled in size to include some 10,000 definitions – cant; gipsy slang; jaw-breakers; beggars’ maps and hieroglyphics; slang history; fashionable slang; parliamentary slang; military and dandy slang; university slang; religious slang; legal slang; literary slang; theatrical slang; money slang; shopkeepers’ slang; workmen’s slang; slang oaths; drunk slang; back slang; rhyming slang – and a bibliography.
Crown 8vo (20cm). (xxii),[2],(306),(6) + [xvi]pp advertisements. Frontispiece map – A Cadger’s Map of a Begging District, with an explanation of the vagabonds’ chalk marks. Original green cloth, blocked and lettered in gilt, by Bone & Son, with their ticket; some very minor rubbing; some spotting, mainly of prelims and edges; a little shaken and slack, but a good and still bright copy of an endlessly absorbing study. An earlier owner, identified only as J. D., has added a manuscript note on the word “bosh” and a couple of pencilled annotations elsewhere, but more significantly a thirteen-line note to the half-title, suggesting that the compiler has been hoaxed in a number of places, particularly in the sections on back-slang and rhyming slang. He or she further suggests that the compiler was not Hotten himself, as is usually thought, but Henry Sampson (1841-1891), the editor of “The Referee”. Small bookseller’s label of Kerby & Son of Oxford Street.

£100

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PRENDERGAST, Thomas, 1806-1886 : THE MASTERY OF LANGUAGES ; OR, THE ART OF SPEAKING FOREIGN TONGUES IDIOMATICALLY.

PRENDERGAST, Thomas, 1806-1886 : THE MASTERY OF LANGUAGES ; OR, THE ART OF SPEAKING FOREIGN TONGUES IDIOMATICALLY.

London : Richard Bentley, 1864. First edition. An interesting early work on the theory of language learning, recently reprinted in the Foundations of Foreign Language Teaching series. Prendergast analyses how children acquire language and draws lessons and techniques. He had fomerly been a civil servant in Madras and part of the work relates to the structure of Hindustani.
Demy 8vo (24cm). [2],(xii),262,[ii]pp. Folding table. Right of translation slip. Original cloth, by Edmonds & Remnants, with their ticket; externally a little worn and dulled, but internally clean and largely unopened. With the 1900 armorial bookplate of William Arthur Cavendish-Bentinck, Sixth Duke of Portland (1857-1943).

£40

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