The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

ISBN 13: 9781859580455

The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

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9781859580455: The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue
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The “1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue,” was written by Francis Grose (a British soldier) just after the American Revolution. The word "vulgar" means slang, though some of them are vulgar. This book was banned in military camps at the time. This book is hysterical, both educational and entertaining. It shows how normal people spoke over 200 years ago, and provides endless possibilities for insulting friends. It is an old dictionary of words that will "pitch kettle" (confound) people if you actually use them, and others are still around, like "to catch a crab" (to fall backwards by missing one's stroke in rowing). If you are into quirky dictionaries like this, then you'll enjoy it.

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Review:

It was a runaway success when published in 1811 by soldier Francis Grose, but now The Dictionary Of The Vulgar Tongue is getting tongues wagging again. --The Telegraph

About the Author:

Francis Grose (approximately 1731-1791) was an English antiquary, draughtsman, and lexicographer. He was born at his father's house in Broad Street, St-Peter-le-Poer, London, son of a Swiss immigrant and jeweler. Grose had early shown a keen interest in drawing, having attempted sketches of medieval buildings as far back as 1749, and having taken formal instruction at a drawing school in the mid-1750s. He was not a particularly gifted draughtsman but he mixed in the London artistic milieu and began to exhibit, first at the Society of Artists in 1767–8 and then at the Royal Academy. His interest was in the field of medieval remains, which were beginning to exercise an increasing grip on the public imagination. In 1772 he published the first part of The Antiquities of England and Wales, a work which he unashamedly aimed at the popular market. Essentially it targeted those who wanted to know about antiquities but had neither time nor means to visit them in person, and contained small panoramas of medieval ruins, together with an informative text on a separate page. Sometimes the text was taken from books already published, or from information supplied by other antiquaries (both acknowledged); sometimes Grose collated material himself from which he could work up an article. From 1772 onwards he also toured the country to visit and draw sites for inclusion in The Antiquities. The fourth and last volume came out in June 1776, and Grose almost immediately began work on a supplement. His publishing career was interrupted however when the Surrey militia was again called into service between 1778 and 1783. This was not a happy experience for him. Where previously Grose had been able to spend his summers visiting and sketching ancient sites he was now obliged to attend his regiment in various training camps. He did not get on well with his new commanding officer, and he handled regimental finances in a slipshod manner. The result was that he incurred debts towards fellow officers that would take years to straighten out. The financial pressure however forced him to increase both the rate and the range of his publications. The Supplement to The Antiquities was resumed in 1783, this time with a higher proportion of the illustrations being done by other artists. Drawing on his own fieldwork Grose also branched out into producing dictionaries, including the famous A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785).

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