Journals Higher Education

$39.99

Paperback

23 February 1995

320 Pages | 17 illus.

5-5/16 x 8 inches

ISBN: 9780195092653


Also Available As:

Ebook


Bookseller Code (06)

Companion website

The City in Slang

New York Life and Popular Speech

Irving Lewis Allen

The American urban scene, and in particular New York's, has given us a rich cultural legacy of slang words and phrases, a bonanza of popular speech. Hot dog, rush hour, butter-and-egg man, gold digger, shyster, buttinsky, smart aleck, sidewalk superintendent, yellow journalism, breadline, straphanger, tar beach, the Tenderloin, the Great White Way, to do a Brodie--these are just a few of the hundreds of popular words and phrases that were born or took on new meaning in the streets of New York.
In The City in Slang, Irving Lewis Allen traces this flowering of popular expressions that accompanied the emergence of the New York metropolis from the early nineteenth century down to the present. This unique account of the cultural and social history of America's greatest city provides in effect a lexicon of popular speech about city life. With many stories Allen shows how this vocabulary arose from city streets, often interplaying with vaudeville, radio, movies, comics, and the popular songs of Tin Pan Alley.
Following the trail of these words and phrases into the city's East Side, West Side, and all around the town, The City in Slang is a fascinating look at the rich cultural heritage of language about city life.

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