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Urban Realms

A New Look at Old Words

A New Look at Old Words

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A writer's and word-lover's categorized guide to the slang of pirates, street-sellers, Gypsies, thieves and more.

Whether you’re a writer looking for the perfect slang word to spice up the language and dialog of your adventure, or simply enjoy the colorful language of days gone by, this book will educate, entertain, and delight.

A few sample words:

  • DIMBER DAMBER: very pretty; a clever rogue who excels his fellows; chief of a gang. Old cant in the latter sense. ─English Rogue.
  • KILKENNY CAT: a popular simile for a voracious or desperate animal or person, from the story of the two cats in that county, who are said to have fought and bitten each other until a small portion of the tail of one of them alone remained.
  • LITTLE SNAKES-MAN: a little thief, who is generally passed through a small aperture to open any door to let in the rest of the gang.
  • SUCK THE MONKEY: to rob a cask of liquor by inserting a straw through a gimlet hole, and sucking a portion of the contents.
  • KISS-ME-QUICK: the name given to the very small bonnets worn by females since 1850.

Based on A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words written by John Camden Hotten in 1860.

Chapters include slang for:

• Compliments and Insults
• People, bodies and minds
• Professions
• Crime and Punishment
• Locations
• Household Items
• Transportation
• Entertainment
• The Natural World
• Communication
• Human Activity

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