메인 How Not to Say What You Mean: A Dictionary of Euphemisms

How Not to Say What You Mean: A Dictionary of Euphemisms

5.0 / 0
How much do you like this book?
What’s the quality of the file?
Download the book for quality assessment
What’s the quality of the downloaded files?
We often use euphemisms when dealing with taboo or sensitive subjects. We speak of "full-figured" women. We "fudge" on our income tax. We get "cold feet" before our wedding. In How Not to Say What You Mean, R.W. Holder offers an engaging volume that celebrates this human tendency to use mild, vague, or roundabout expressions rather than those which are blunt, precise, and true. 

Arranged in alphabetical order, this dictionary contains thousands of entertaining and informative entries ranging from such circumlocutions as a "fruit salad" (mixture of illegal narcotics), "arm candy" (a good-looking female companion), a "barrel-house" (a brothel), "birthday suit" (nakedness), and a "blue hair" (an old woman). Completely updated, the dictionary provides definitions, examples, as well as historical explanations where appropriate.

Fun, fascinating, lively, and at times shocking, this new edition of How Not to Say What You Mean is a browser's delight and will appeal to all language and word play lovers, and anyone looking for a good laugh.

Oxford University Press
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:
Oxford Paperback Reference
PDF, 13.39 MB
다운로드 (pdf, 13.39 MB)

귀하의 관심을 살 수 있습니다 Powered by Rec2Me


주로 사용되는 용어

best site ever
best site ever
best site ever
16 November 2020 (04:15) 
love this sitttttteeeeeeeee
23 November 2020 (04:01) 
I love this site very much
12 February 2021 (13:34) 
one book a day
keeps ignorance away.
site is lit.
03 April 2021 (22:09) 
Join the Illuminati to become rich and famous,power,every new member have benfite of 10 millions dollars and gold,tailasm, and a brand new car of your
choice ,your,musician,pastor,lawyer,actress,banker, and you. want power of promosion in your job here is your chance to achieve your dreams by being a member of illuminati to achieve your desire.
if you are interested kindly email us or Whatsap now ,illuminati do not harm and do not be afraid know human blood. whatsap morganilluminatirich@gmail com us+2347051758952
09 May 2021 (06:51) 

책에 대한 리뷰를 작성하거나 귀하의 독서 경험을 공유할 수 있습니다. 다른 독자들이 귀하가 읽은 책에 대한 의견에 귀를 기울일 것입니다. 개인적으로 책이 마음에 들었거나 그렇지 않았거나 정직하고 상세한 호평은 다른 독자들이 자신에게 적합한 책을 찾는데 도움이 됩니다.

How Not To Say
What You Mean
A Dictionary of Euphemisms




Having seen something written by Bob Holder
as a schoolboy, T. S. Eliot remarked Thar boy
loves words'. This love oï language underlies
this new edition of A Dictionary of Euphemisms.
Bob has lived in West Monkton, near Taunton,
since 1951. He has worked for manufacturing
companies in Ireland, Belgium, and North
America in addition to those in the United
Kingdom and has also held a number of public
appointments. From 1974 to 1984 he was
Treasurer of the University of Bath and
remained a Pro-Chancellor until 1997.

From its first appearance in 1987 as A
Dictionary of American and British Euphemisms,
Boh Holder's work has been the standard reference hook tor those studying the language of
evasion and understatement. This new edition,
renamed / low Not To Say What You Mean, has
been completely rewritten. It retains old
favourites while adding over a thousand new
entries, which reflect modern euphemistic terms
on such issues as marriage, race, homosexuality,
drug-taking, and security ol employment.
The quotations which accompany entries are
both illustrative and interesting in their own
right. Where appropriate, the etymology of a
term is explained, giving a philological insight
into this universally used, hut little studied,
branch of our language.

Jacket design: Simon Levy
Jacket illustration: Photodisc

'A browser's delight'

Reference Review

How Nut To Su> What Vow Mean unmasks the language >>t hypocrisy,
evasion, prudery, and deceit. This hugely entertaining collection
highlights our tendency to use mild, vague, or roundabout expressions
in preference to words that are precise, blunt, and often uncomfortably
Entries, drawn from all aspects of life: work, sexuality, aye, money, and
politics, provide the red meaning tor well-known phrases such as above
your ceiling, gardening leave, rest and recreation, count the daisies,
God's waiting room, washed up, and fact-finding mission.
Review.s of the previous edi; tions
'This ingenious collection is not only very tunny but extremely
Iris Murdoch
instructive too
'A most valuable and splendidlv presented collection; at once
scholarly, tasteful, and witty.'

I-ord Quirk

'Your complete guide to every euphemism you could ever wan! to
know and many you would rather not'

Daily Wail

ISBN 0-19-860402-5


780198 604020

I9RRP $18.95 '.

How Not To Say What You Mean
A Dictionary of Euphemisms

Reviews of previous editions
'A most valuable and splendidly presented collection; at once
scholarly, tasteful, and witty.' Lord Quirk
'Euphemists are a lively, inventive, self-regarding and bumptious
bunch. Holder goes among them with an etymological glint in his
eye.' lain Finlayson, Financial Times
'this fascinating book... don't put this dictionary in the loo -there's
another euphemism for you - or else guests will never come out. It's
unputdownable once you open it.' Peter Mullen, Yorkshire Post
'Concise, well-organized entries' Library Journal (USA)
'I am astonished at its depth and wit' Sam Allen (American
lawyer and philologist)
'This bran tub of linguistic gems... A delight for browsers
who love the vivid oddities of language... a valuable
collection.' City Limits
'A very funny collection' Financial Times
'Many printable gems' Daily Telegraph
'Good bedside reading' Sunday Telegraph
'It will surely take its place... as a browser's delight and it will
entertain book lovers for many hours, whilst at the same
time providing useful background information, as well as
instruction and clarification to many.' Reference Review
'An informative, amusing collection' The Observer
'Hugely enjoyable and cherishable' Times Educational
'Lovers of word play will have a field day' Herald Express,
'Excellent, informative, entertaining.' Wilson Literary Bulletin
'Great fun, but not for the maiden aunt.' Sunday Telegraph

How Not To Say What You Mean
A Dictionary of Euphemisms



Great Clarendon Street, Oxford ox2 6DP
Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.
It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship,
and education by publishing worldwide in
Oxford New York
Auckland Bangkok Buenos Aires Cape Town Chennai
Dar es Salaam Delhi Hong Kong Istanbul Karachi Kolkata
Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Mumbai Nairobi
Sào Paulo Shanghai Singapore Taipei Tokyo Toronto
Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press
in the UK and in certain other countries
Published in the United States
by Oxford University Press Inc., New York
C: R. W. Holder 1995, 2002
The moral rights of the auther have been asserted
Database right Oxford University Press (maker)
First published as A Dictionary of American and British Euphemisms by Bath University Press 1987
Revised edition published by Faber and Faber Limited 1989
Second edition first published as A Dictionary of Euphemisms by Oxford University Press 1995,
and in paperback 1996
This third edition first published as How Not to Say What You Mean:
A Dictionary of Euphemisms in 2002

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means,
without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press,
or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate
reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction
outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department,
Oxford University Press, at the address above
You must not circulate this book in any other binding or cover
and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
Data available
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Holder, R. W.
How not to say what you mean: a dictionary of euphemisms / R. W. Holder.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p.) and index.
ISBN 0-19-860402-5
1. English language-Euphemism-Dictionaries. 2. English language-Synonyms and antonyms.
3. English language-Terms and Phrases. 4. Vocabulary. I. Title.
PE1449 .H548 2002

ISBN 0-19-860402-5
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Typeset in 7.5/8.5pt OUP Swift Light by Kolam Information Services Pvt. Ltd, Pondicherry, India
Printed in Great Britain by Clays Ltd, St Ives pic

An Explanation




A Dictionary of Euphemisms


Thematic Index


An Explanation


hen I started gathering euphemisms in 1977 with a
dictionary in mind, nothing similar had been published. I was free to choose the form the collection
should take, to speculate on the etymology, and to lay down the
criteria for entry or rejection. It was not, I felt, a subject to be taken
too seriously, considering the ridiculous nature of many of the
euphemisms we use in everyday speech.
I accepted Fowler's definition: 'Euphemism means the use of
a mild or vague or periphrastic expression as a substitute for blunt
precision or disagreeable use' (Modern English Usage, 1957). A
second test soon emerged: that the euphemistic word or phrase
once meant, or prima facie still means, something else. Because
many euphemisms have become such a part of standard English
that we think only of the current usage, I sometimes remind the
reader of what the word means literally, or used to mean.
In speech and writing, we use euphemism when dealing
with taboo or sensitive subjects. It is therefore also the language of
evasion, of hypocrisy, of prudery, and of deceit. Fewer than one in a
hundred of the entries in the Dictionary cannot be classified under a
specific heading shown in the Thematic Index. Some of the entries
may be judged by the reader to be dysphemisms, or neither euphemism or dysphemism. The selection is of necessity subjective, and
there may also be cases where one woman's euphemism is another
man's dysphemism. With regard to inclusive language, for the sake
of brevity I stay with the old, politically incorrect rule that the use of
the masculine pronoun may, where appropriate, also include the
I have left out anything which does not feature in literary or
common use, unless it adds to our understanding of how language
evolves. I also omit anything which I have only found in another
dictionary. Inevitably, living in England and having worked during
the past quarter century mainly there and in Ireland, the selection
reflects the speech on this side of the Atlantic, despite my frequent

An Explanation

visits on business to Canada and the United States. Happily English
literature is universal, with Indian, South African, and Australian
writers as available as those from North America and the British
The subjects about which we tend to use euphemisms
change along with our social attitudes, although euphemisms associated with sexual behaviour and defecation have shown remarkable staying powers. We are more open than the Victorians about
mental illness, brothels, and prostitution, less prudish about courtship and childbirth, less terrified about bankruptcy. In turn we can
be less direct than they were when referring to charity, education,
commercial practice, and race, among other things. In the last
twenty-five years there has been a shift in our attitude to such
matters as female employment, sexual variety, marriage, illegitimacy, the ingestion of illegal drugs, abortion, job security, and sexual
pursuit. Even in the seven years which have elapsed between the
previous collection and this one, out of some 1,200 new entries, the
heaviest concentration is in these subjects, while euphemisms relating to alcohol or to death, for example, have remained relatively
The derivation of many euphemisms through association
is obvious, such as death with resting or sleeping, or urination
with washing. Another source is from a foreign language, and I
include examples from Latin, German, French, Italian, Spanish,
Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Hindi, Japanese, and Tagalog, many of
which were brought home by servicemen. Rhyming slang is also
used euphemistically. Some other usages take more puzzling out.
For example, to understand why a mentally ill person might be
described as being East Ham demands knowledge of the London
railway network, in which the East Ham station is one stop short
of Barking. I try not to bore the reader by pointing out obvious
imagery, but the etymology of euphemism, so much of which
passes into standard English, does not seem to have been the
subject of published academic research.
It seemed a denial of what I was trying to achieve if I had to
define one euphemism by the use of another. However, with certain

An Explanation

words this is unavoidable. In the case of'lavatory, for example, there
is no synonym which is not, like lavatory itself, a euphemism. We
have no specific word for a woman who copulates and cohabits with
a man outside wedlock, and I use mistress without any qualifying
prefix. I also use promiscuous a.ndpromiscuity as definitions in a sexual,
rather than a general sense. Because fuck and shit are ugly words
which jar with constant repetition, I use the euphemistic copulation
and defecation in their stead. Then there are words which have
undesirable connotations which make them better avoided as definitions, such as cripple, bastard, whore, and spinster. No area of definition has given me as much pause as that concerned with mental
illness, where the use of mad and lunatic can be misleading as well as
offensive. To confuse matters, we use the word mad to describe
conditions of the mind ranging from mild annoyance or folly to
acute dementia, and many of the euphemisms we use about mental
illness cover the same wide spectrum. The definitions selected in
each case, and there are many, are what seem to me the commonest
usages, but I remain aware of their inadequacy.
The illustrative quotations have been often chosen because
they interest me, rather than being the first published example of
the usage. Many of those from obscure 19th-century authors have
been taken from Joseph Wright's magisterial English Dialect Dictionary. Where I have lifted a quotation from another compiler, I say so.
For the rest, the quotations come from my own reading, the scope
of which has naturally been limited. Even though the majority of
my readers have hitherto been in North America, I have stayed with
British spelling except where the usage itself is confined to America, when defence becomes defense and centre becomes center.
Labels such as American or Scottish indicate that the usage is
restricted to the regional English specified; and in this case, American refers mainly to the United States. My use of narcotics as a
definition is made in the knowledge that many drugs illegally
ingested have other effects than narcosis. There is not however
space enough in the text to enlarge on specific scientific differences
and remain within the constraints suggested by my publisher.
Because we have a Thematic Index, cross-references have been

An Explanation

kept to a minimum in the text. The use of small capitals indicates
where they can be found.
Professional and scholarly authors owe a debt to their editors
but not to the same extent that I do. My interest in language is a
hobby which has given me great pleasure, but my occupation has
been not as an academic but as a manufacturer, which provided
ample opportunity for reading while travelling as well as frequent
contact with people in Europe and America, but not much time for
writing. Dr Michael Allen of Bath University published the original
edition in 1987 when it seemed unlikely to find a sponsor. The
second edition benefited greatly from the advice and other assistance given me by Julia Elliott, Sara Tulloch, and Patrick Hanks at the
Oxford University Press. The changes in style which have improved
the presentation and range of this edition were suggested by Alysoun Owen and I owe much to Elizabeth Knowles, the most understanding of editors, and to Andrew Delahunty, who made many
helpful suggestions. I must also thank the many readers who have
written to me on specific points. None appear more enthusiastic
than those in Australia, although I regret that I cannot use any of
the material they have sent me, despite its linguistic ingenuity.
There are limits to what may be placed on a family bookshelf.
My task is not dissimilar to that facing Sisyphus. The language continues to evolve and it is a poor week in which I do not
note two or three new euphemisms, or decide that one previously
noted has proved ephemeral. As I complete this explanation, the
stone is near the top of the hill but already, with the acceptance of
new entries closed, it has started to roll downwards once again.
R. W. Holder
West Monkton

Quotations have been included in the text to show how words and phrases were or are
used, and when. The date given for each title refers to the first publication or to the
edition which I have used. Where an author has deliberately used archaic language, I
mention this in the text.
The following dictionaries and reference books are referred to by abbreviations:

The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (Brewer, 1978)
Dictionary of American Slang (Wentworth and Flexner, 1975)
A Dictionary of Rhyming Slang (Franklin, 1961 )
A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (Partridge, 1970)
The English Dialect Dictionary (Wright, 1898-1905)
Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (Grose, 1811)
A Dictionary of the English Language (Johnson, 1775)
Notes & Queries
The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs (Smith and Wilson, 1970)
The Oxford English Dictionary (1989)
The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1993)
Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (1977)

Adams, J. (1985) Good Intentions
Agnus, Orme (1900) Jan Oxber
'Agrikler' (1872) Rhymes in West of England Dialect
Ainslie, Hew (1892) A Pilgrimage to the Land of
Aldiss, Brian (1988) Forgotten Life
Alexander, William (1875-82 edition) Sketches of
Life among my Ain Folk
Allan, Keith, and Burridge, Kate (1991)
Euphemism and Dysphemism
Allbeury, Ted (1975) Palomino Blonde
(1976) The Only Good German
(1976) Moscow Quadrille
(1977) The Special Connection
(1978) The Lantern Network
(1979) The Consequence of Fear
(1980) The Twentieth Day of January
(1980) The Reaper
(1981) The Secret Whispers
(1982) All Our Tomorrows
(1983) Pay Any Price
Allen, Charles (1975) Plain Tales from the Raj
(1979) Tales from the Dark Continent
Allen, Paula Gunn (1992) The Sacred Hoop
Allen, Richard (1971) Swedehead
Alter (1960) The Exile
Amis, Kingsley (1978) Jake's Thing
(1980) Russian Hide-and-Seek
(1986) The Old Devils
(1988) Difficulties with Girls
(1990) The Folks that Live on the Hill
Anderson, David (1826) Poems Chiefly in the Scottish

Anderson, R. (1805-8 edition) Ballads in the
Cumberland Dialect
Anderson, William (1867) Rhymes, Reveries and
Andrews, William (1899) Bygone Church Life in
Anonymous (1996) Primary Colors
Antrobus, C. L. (1901) Wildersmoor
Archer, Jeffrey (1979) Kane and Abel
Armstrong, Andrew (1890) Ingleside Musings and
Armstrong, Louis (1955) Satchmo
Ashton, Rosemary (1991) G. H. Lewes
Atkinson, J. C. (1891) Forty Years in a Moorland
Atwood, Margaret (1988) Cat's Eye
(1996) Alias Grace
Aubrey, John (1696) Collected Works
Axon, W. E. A. (1870) The Black Knight of Ashton
Ayto, John (1993) Euphemisms
Bacon, Francis (1627) Essays
Bagley, Desmond (1977) The Enemy
(1982) Windfall
Bagnall, Jos (1852) Songs of the Tyne
Balchin, Nigel (1964) Fatal Fascination
Baldwin, William (1993) The Hard to Catch Mercy
Ballantine, James (1869) The Miller ofDeanhaugh
Banim, John (1825) O'Hara Tales
Barber, Lyn (1991) Mostly Men
Barber, Noel (1981) Taramara
Barham R. H. (1840) Ingoldsby Legends
Barlow, Jane (1892) Bogland Studies

Barnard, Howard, and Lauwerys, Joseph (1963)
A Handbook of British Educational Terms
Barnes, Julian (1989) A History of the World inW\
(1991) Talking it Over
Baron, Alexander (1948) From the City, From the
Barr, John (1861) Poems and Songs
Bartram, George (1897) The People of Clapton
(1898) The White-Headed Boy
Bathurst, Bella (1999) The Lighthouse Stevensons
Beard, Henry, and Cerf, Christopher (1992) The
Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook
Beattie, Ann (1989) Picturing Will
Beattie, William (1801) Fruits of Time Parings
Beatty, W. (1897) The Secretar
Beevor, Antony (1998) Stalingrad
Behr, Edward (1978) Anyone Here Been Raped and
Speaks English?
(1989) Hirohito: Beyond the Myth
Bence-Jones, Mark (1987) Twilight of the Ascendancy
Benet, Stephen (1943) A judgment in the Mountains
Benn, A. W. (1995) The Benn Diaries (edited by
Ruth Winston)
Besant, Walter and Rice, James (1872) Ready
Money Mortiboy
Binchy, Maeve (1985) Echoes
Binding, Hilary (1999) Somerset Privies
Binns, Aethelbert (1889) Yorkshire Dialect Words
Blacker, Terence (1992) The Fame Hotel
Blackhall, Alex (1849) Lays of the North
Blackmore, R. D. (1869) Lorna Doone
Blair, Emma (1990) Maggie Jordan
Blanch, Leslie (1954) The Wilder Shores of Love
Blessed, Brian (1991) The Turquoise Mountain
Block, Thomas (1979) Mayday
Blythe, Ronald (1969) Akenfield
Bogarde, Dirk (1972) A Postillion Struck by Lightning
(1978) Snakes and Ladders
(1981) Voices in the Garden
(1983) An Orderly Man
Boldrewood, Rolf (1890) A Colonial Reformer
Bolger, Dermot (1990) The Journey Home
Book of Common Prayer (1662)
Boswell, Alexander (1803) Songs
(1871 edition) Poetical Works
Boswell, James (1785) The Journal of a Tour to the
Hebrides with Samuel Johnson
(1791) The Life of Samuel Johnson
(1792-3) London Journal
Boyd, William (1981) A Good Man in Africa
(1982) An Ice-Cream War
(1983) Stars and Bars
(1987) The New Confessions
(1993) The Blue Afternoon
(1998) Armadillo
Boyle, Andrew (1979) The Climate of Treason
Bradbury, Malcolm (1959) Eating People is Wrong
(1965) Stepping Westward
(1975) The History Man
(1976) Who Do You Think You Are?
(1983) Rates of Exchange

Bradley, Edward (1853) The Adventures of Mr
Verdant Green
Brand, John (1789) The History and Antiquities of
Brewer, E. Cobham (1978 edition) The Dictionary
of Phrase and Fable
Brierley, Benjamin (1854) Treadlepin Fold and
Other Tales
(1865) Irkdale
(1886) The Cotters ofMossburn
Brown, Harry (1944) A Walk in the Sun
Brown, Ivor (1958) Words in our Time
Browning, D. C. (1962) Everyman's Dictionary of
Literary Biography
Bryce, J. B. (1888) The American Constitution
Bryson, Bill (1989) The Lost Continent
(1991) Neither Here Nor There
(1994) Made in America
(1995) Notes from a Small Island
(1997) A Walk in the Woods
(1999) Down Under
Buchan, John (1898) John Burnet of Barns
Buckman, S. S. (1870) John Darke's Sojourn in the
Bullock, Alan, and Stallybrass, Oliver (1977) The
Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought
Bunyan, John (1678-84) The Pilgrim's Progress
Burgess, Anthony (1959) Beds in the East
{1980) Earthly Powers
Burleigh, Michael (2000) The Third Reich
Burmester, F. G. (1902) John Lot's Alice
Burnet, Gilbert (1714) History of the Reformation of
the Church of England
Burnley, James (1880) Poems and Sketches
Burns, Robert (1786) Poems in the Scottish Dialect
Burroughs, William (1959) The Naked Lunch
(1984) The Place of Dead Roads
Burton, Anthony (1989) The Great Days of the
Burton, Robert (1621) The Anatomy of Melancholy
Bush, Robin (1997) Somerset Bedside Book
Butcher, Harry C. (1946) Three Years with
Butler, Samuel (1903) The Way of All Flesh
Byrnes, J. H. (1974) Mrs Byrnes's Dictionary of
Unusual, Obscure and Preposterous Words
Byron, G. G. N. (1809-24) Works
Bywater, Abel (1839) The Sheffield Dialect
(1853) The Shewild Chap's Annual
Cahill, Thomas (1995) How the Irish Saved
Caine, T. H. H. (1885) The Shadow of a Crime
Cameron, Peter (1997) Andorra
Carleton, William (1836) Fardorougha, the Miser
Carrick, J. D. (1835) The Laird of Logan
Carter, Angela (1984) Nights at the Circus
Carter, V. Bonham (1965) Winston Churchill as I
Knew Him
Caufield, Catherine (1990) Multiple Exposures
Cawthorne, Nigel (1996) Sex Lives of the Popes
Chambers, Robert (1870) Popular Rhymes of

Charnier, E., quoted in Oxford Dictionary of English
Chandler, Raymond (1934) Finger Man
(1939) Trouble Is My Business
(1940) Farewell My Lovely
(1943) The High Window
(1944) The Lady in the Lake
(1950) The Big Sleep
(1951) The Little Sister
(1953) The Long Goodbye
(1958) Playback
Chapman, Kit (1999) An Innkeeper's Diary
Charlton, Jack (1996) The Autobiography
Chase, C. David (1987) Mugged on Wall Street
Cheng, Nien (1984) Life and Death in Shanghai
Christie, Agatha (1939) Evil Under the Sun
(1940) Ten Little Niggers
Clancy, Tom (1986) Red Storm Rising
(1987) Patriot Games
(1988) The Cardinal in the Kremlin
(1989) Clear and Present Danger
(1991) The Sum of All Our Fears
Clare, John (1827) The Shepherd's Calendar
Clark, Alan (1993) Diaries
(1995) Barbarossa
(2000) Diaries Into Politics
Clark, Charles (1839) John Noakes and Mary Styles
Clark, Colin (1995) The Prince, the Showgirl and Me
Clark, Miles (1991) High Endeavours
Clay, John (1998) Tales from the Bridge Table
Cleland, John (1749) Memoirs of a Woman of
Pleasure (Fanny Hill)
Cobbett, William (1830) Rural Rides
Coghill, James (1890) Poems, Songs and Sonnets
Cole, John (1995) As it Seemed to Me
Collins English Dictionary (1979 edition)
Collins, Jackie (1981) Chances
Collins, Wilkie (1860) The Woman in White
(1868) The Moonstone
Colodny, Lee, and Gettlin, Robert (1991) Silent
Colvil, Samuel (1796) The Whig's Supplication
Colville, John (1967) The Fringes of Power
(1976) Footprints in Time
Commager, Henry (1972) The Defeat of America
Condon, Richard (1966) Any God Will Do
Congreve, William (1695) Love for Love
Cookson, Catherine (1967) Slinky Jane
(1969) Our Kate
Coren, Michael (1995) Conan Doyle
Cork, Kenneth (1988) Cork on Cork
Corley, T. A. B. (1961) Democratic Despot
Cornwell, Bernard (1993) Rebel
(1997) Sharpe's Tiger
Cornwell, Patricia (2000) The Last Precinct
Cosgrave, Patrick (1989) The Lives of Enoch Powell
Coyle, Harold (1987) Team Yankee
Crews, Harry (1990) Body: A Tragicomedy
Crisp N.J. (1982) The Brink
Crockett, S. R. (1894) The Raiders
(1896) The Grey Man
Croker, T. C. (1862) Fairy Legends and Traditions of
South Ireland

Cromwell, Oliver (1643) Letter
Cross, William (1844) The Disruption
Crossman, Richard (1981) Backbench Diaries
Cussler, Clive (1984) Deep Six
(1994) Inca Gold
Dalrymple, William (1989) In Xanadu
(1993) City of Djinns
(1997) From the Holy Mountain
(1998) The Age of Kali
Davidson, Lionel (1978) The Chelsea Murders
de Bernières, Louis (1994) Captain Corelli's
de Guingand, Francis (1947) Operation Victory
de la Billière, Peter (1992) Storm Command
de Mille, Nelson (1988) Charm School
Deedes, W. F. (1997) Dear Bill
Defoe, Daniel (1721) Moll Banders
Deighton, Len (1972) Close-up
(1978) SS-GB
(1981) XPD
(1982) Goodbye Mickey Mouse
(1985) London Match
(1987) Winter
(1988) Sky Hook
(1989) Spy Line
(1990) Spy Sinker
(1991) City of Gold
(1993/1) Blood, Tears and Folly
(1993/2) Violent Ward
(1994) Faith
Desai, Boman (1988) The Memory of Elephants
Dickens, Charles (1840) The Old Curiosity Shop
(1843) The Life and Adventures of Martin
(1853) Bleak House
(1861) Great Expectations
Dickens, Monica (1939) One Pair of Hands
Dickinson, William (1866) Scallow Beck Boggle
Dickson, Paul (1978) The Official Rules
Dictionary of Cautionary Words and Phrases (1989)
Dictionary of National Biography (1978 edition)
Diehl, William (1978) Sharky's Machine
Dills, Lattie (1976) The 'Official' CB Slanguage
Language Dictionary
Dixon, D. D. (1895) Whittingham Vale
Dixon J. H. (1846) Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs
of the Peasantry of England
Dodds, Michael (1991) Last Man to Die
Doherty, Austen (1884) Nathan Barlow
Donaldson, Frances (1990) Yours Plum: The Letters
of P. G. Wodehouse
Douglas, George (1901) The House with Green Shutters
Doyle, Arthur Conan (1895) The Napoleonic Stories
(1917) His Last Bow
Doyle, Ezra (1855) Polly's Game
Doyle, Roddy (1987) The Commitments
(1990) The Snapper
(1991) The Van
(1993) Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
(1996) The Woman who Walked into Doors
(1999) A Star Called Henry

Dryden, John (1668-98) Poetical Works
du Maurier, Daphne (1938) Rebecca
Dunning, Robert (1993) Somerset One Hundred
Years Ago
Egerton, J. C. (1884) Sussex Folks and Sussex Ways
Eliot, George (1871-2) Middlemarch
Ellis, William (1750) The Modern Husbandman
Ellman, Lucy (1988) Sweet Desserts
Emblen, D. L. (1970) Peter Mark Roget: The Word
and the Man
Emerson, P. H. (1890) Wild Life on a Tidal Water
(1892) A Son of the Fens
Enright, D. J. (editor) (1985) Fair of Speech
Erdman, Paul (1974) The Silent Bears
(1981) The Last Days of America
(1986) The Panic of '89
(1987) The Palace
(1993) Zero Coupon
Etherege, George (1676) The Man of Mode
Evans, Bergen (1962) Comfortable Words
Evans, Nicholas (1995) The Horse Whisperer
(1998) The Loop
Evans-Pritchard, Ambrose (1997) 'The Secret Life of
Bill Clinton
Evelyn, John (published in 1818 posthumously)
Faderman, Lilian (1991) Old Girls and Twilight
Faith, Nicholas (1990) The World the Railways Made
Farmer, J. S. and Henley, W. J. (1890-4) Slang and
its Analogues
Farran, Roy (1948) Winged Dagger
Farrell, J. G. (1973) The Siege ofKrishnapur
Faulks, Sebastian (1993) Birdsong
(1996) The Fatal Englishman
(1998) Charlotte Gray
Fergusson, Bernard (1945) Beyond the Chindwin
Fergusson, Robert (1773) Poems on Various Subjects
Fielding, Helen (1996) Bridget Jones's Diary
(1999) The Edge of Reason
Fielding, Henry (1729) The Author's Face
(1742) The History and Adventures of Joseph
Fiennes, Ranulph (1996) The Sett
Fine, Anne (1989) Goggle-Eyes
Fingall, Elizabeth (Countess of) (1977) Seventy
Years Young
Flanagan, Thomas (1979) The Year of the French
(1988) The Tenants of Time
(1995) The End of the Game
Fleming, Lionel (1965) Head or Harp
Fletcher, John (1618) Valentinian
Follett, Ken (1978) The Eye of the Needle
(1979) Triple
(1991) Night over Water
(1992) By Stealth
(1996) The Hammer of Eden
Forbes, Brian (1972) The Distant Laughter
(1983) The Rewrite Man
(1986) The Endless Game
(1989) A Song at Twilight

Forbes, Colin (1983) The Leader and the Damned
(1985) Cover Story
(1987) The Janus Man
(1992) By Stealth
Ford, Robert (1891) Thistledown
Foreman, Amanda (1998) Georgiana, Duchess of
Forsey, Eugene (1990) A Life on the Fringe
Forster, Margaret (1997) Rich Desserts and Captain's
Forsyth, Frederick (1984) The Fourth Protocol
(1994) The Fist of God
(1996) Icon
Foster, Brian (1968) The Changing English Language
Foster, R. F. (1988) Modern Ireland 1600-1972
( 1993) Paddy and Mr Punch
Fowler, H. W. (1957) Modern English Usage
Fowles, John (1977) The Magus (revised)
(1985) A Maggot
Fox, James (1982) White Mischief
Francis, Dick (1962) Dead Cert
(1973) The Gift
(1978) Trial Run
(1981) Twice Shy
(1982) Banker
(1985) Break In
(1987) Hot Money
(1988) The Edge
(1994) Wild Horses
(1996) To the Hilt
(1998) Field of13
Francis, M. E. (1901) Pastorals of Dorset
Franklin, Benjamin (1757) The Way to Wealth
Franklyn, Julian (1960) A Dictionary of Rhyming
Fraser, George MacDonald (1969) Flashman
(1970) Royal Rash
(1971) Flash for Freedom
(1973) Flashman at the Charge
(1975) Flashman in the Great Game
(1977) Flashman's Lady
(1982) Flashman and the Redskins
(1983) The Pyrates
(1985) Flashman and the Dragon
(1992) Quartered Safe Out Here
(1994) Flashman and the Angel of the Lord
(1997) Black Ajax
Frazier, Charles (1997) Cold Mountain
Freemantle, Brian (1977) Charlie Muffin
French, Patrick (1995) Younghusband
(1997) Liberty or Death
Fry, Stephen (1991) The Liar
(1994) The Hippopotamus
Funk, Charles E. (the elder) (1955) Heavens to Betsy
and Other Curious Sayings
Furst, Alan (1988) Night Soldiers
(1995) The Polish Officer
Gaarder, Josten (1996) The Solitaire Mystery
(translated by S. J. Hails)
Gabriel, Marius (1992) The Original Sin
Galloway, George (1810) Poems
Galsworthy, John (1924) The White Monkey

Gait, John (1821) The Ayrshire Legatees
(1823) The Entail
(1826) The last of the lairds
Gardner, James F. (1983) Elephants in the Attic
Garland, Alex (1996) The Beach
Garmondsway, George and Simpson, Jacqueline
(1969) The Penguin English Dictionary
Gamer, James F. (1994) Politically Correct Bedtime
Gascoigne, George (1576; 1907-10 edition) Works
Gaskell, E. C. (1863) Sylvia's lovers
Genet, Jean (1969) Funeral Rites (in translation)
Gentles, Ian (1992) The New Model Army in England,
Ireland and Scotland, 1645-1653
Ginsberg, Allen (1984)
Gissing, Algernon (1890) A Village Hampden
Goebbels, Josef (1945) Diaries (translated by
Richard Barry)
Golden, Arthur (1997) Memoirs of a Geisha
Goldman, William (1984) The Colour of light
(1986) Brothers
Gorbachev, Mikhail (1995) Memoirs (translated by
Georges Peronansky and Tatjana Varsavsky)
Gordon, Alexander (1984) Northward Ho!
Gordon, Frank (1885) Pyotshaw
Gordon, J. F. S. (1880) The Book of Chronicles of
Gordon, Lyndall (1994) Charlotte Brontë
Gores, Joseph N. (1975) Hammett
Gosling, John and Warner, Douglas (1960) The
Shame of a City
Graham, Dougal (1883) The Collected Writings
Graham, Harry (1930) More Ruthless Rhymes for
Heartless Homes
Grant, David (1884) lays and legends of the North
Graves, Robert (1940) Sergeant Lamb of the Ninth
(1941) Proceed Sergeant Lamb
Grayson, H. (1975) The last Alderman
Greeley, Andrew M. (1986) God Games
Green, Jonathon (1991) Neologisms: New Words
since 1960

(1996) Chasing the Sun
Green, Shirley (1979) Rachman
Greene, G. A. (1599) Works
Greene, Graham (1932) Stamboul Train
(1934) It's a Battlefield
(1967) May We Borrow Your Husband?
(1978) The Human Factor
Grinnell-Milne, Duncan (1933) Wind in the Wires
Grisham, John (1992) The Pelican Brief
(1994) The Chamber
(1998) The Street Lawyer
(1999) The Testament
(2001) A Painted House
Grose, Francis (1811 edition) Dictionary of the
Vulgar Tongue
Guinness, Alec (1985) Blessings in Disguise
Hackett, John (1978) The Third World War
Haggard, H. Rider (1885) King Solomon's Mines
Hailey, Arthur (1973) Wheels
(1975) The Money-Changers
(1979) Overlord

(1984) Strong Medicine
( 1990) The Evening News
Hall, Adam (1969) The Ninth Directive
(1979) The Scorpion Signal
(1988) Quiller's Run
Hallam, Reuben (1866) Wadsleyjack
Hamilton, Ernest (1897) The Outlaws of the Marshes
(1898) The Mawkin of the Row
Hardy, Thomas (1874) Far From the Madding Crowd
(1888) Wessex Tales
Harland, John and Wilkinson, T. T. (1867) Folk
Harris, Frank (1925) My Life and loves
Harris, Robert (1992) Fatherland
(1995) Enigma
(1998) Archangel
Harris, Thomas (1988) The Silence of the lambs
Hartley, John (1870) Heart Broken
Harvey, William (1628) Anatomica de Motu Cardis
Hastings, Max (1987) The Korean War
Hastings, Selina (1994) Evelyn Waugh
Hattersley, Roy (1995) Who Goes Home
Hawks, Tony (1998) Round Ireland with a Fridge
Hayden, Eleanor (1902) From a Thatched Cottage
Heath, Robert (1650) Clarastella together with
poems occasional etc.
Hector, William (1876) Selections from the Judicial
Records of Renfrewshire
Heffer, Simon (1998) Like the Roman: The Life of
Enoch Powell
Hemingway, Ernest (1941) For Whom the Bell

Henderson, George (1856) The Popular Rhymes,
Sayings and Proverbs of the County of Berwick
Henderson, William (1879) Notes on the Folk Lore of
the Northern Counties etc.
Herd, David (1771) Ancient and Modern Scottish
Herr, Michael (1977) Dispatches
Herriot, James (1981) The Good Lord Made Them All
Hetrick, Robert (1826) Poems and Songs
Hewett, Sarah (1892) The Peasant Speech of Devon
Heywood, John (1546) Works
Hibbert, Samuel (1822) A Description of the
Shetland Islands
Higgins, Jack (1976) Storm Warning
Hogg, James (1822) Perils of Man
(1866) Tales and Sketches
Holder, R. W. (1992) Thinking about Management
(2000) Taunton Cider and Langdons
Holmes, Richard (1961) Dr Johnson and Mr Savage
Holt, Alfred (1961) Phrase and Word Origins
Hood, Thomas (c.1830) Poems
Home, Alastair (1969) To Lose a Battle
(with D. Montgomery) (1994) The Lonely Leader:
Montgomery 1944-1945
Horrocks, Brian (1960) A Full Life
Horsley, J. W. (1887) Jottings from Jail
Housman A. E. (1896) A Shropshire Lad
Howard, Anthony (1977) New Words for Old
(1978) Weasel Words
(1993) Lives Remembered

Howat, Gerald (1979) Who Did What
Hudson, Bob, and Pickering, Larry (1986) First
Australian Dictionary of Vulgarities and Obscenities
Hudson, Kenneth (1977) The Dictionary of Diseased
(1978) The Jargon of the Professions
Hughes, Robert (1987) The Fatal Shore
Hughes, Thomas (1856) Tom Brown's Schooldays
Hunt, Holman (1854) Letter
Hunt, Robert (1865-96 edition) Popular Romances
of the West of England
Hutchinson, Lucy (c.1850) Letter
Hynd (1949)
Iacocca, Lee (1984) lacocca
Ingelo (1830) Reminiscences
Inglis, James (1895) Our Ain Folk
Innes, Hammond (1982) The Black Tide
(1991) Jsvik
Irvine, Lucy (1986) Runaway
James, Haddy (Surgeon) (1816) Journal
James, P. D. (1962) Cover Her Face
(1972) An Unsuitable Job for a Woman
(1975) The Black Tower
(1980) Innocent Blood
(1986) A Taste for Death
(1994) Original Sin
(2001) Death in Holy Orders
Jane, Fred (1897) The Lordship, the Passen and We
Jefferies, Richard (1880) Hodge and his Masters
Jennings, Gary (1965) Personalities of Language
Johnson, Samuel (1755) A Dictionary of the English
Johnston, Henry (1891) KUmallie
Joliffe, Gray, and Mayle, Peter (1984) Man's Best
Jolly, Rick (1988) Jackspeak: The Pusser's Rum Guide
Jones, R. V. (1978) Most Secret War
Jonson, Ben (1598-1633) Works (edited by
Herford and Simpson, 1925-52)
Joyce, James (1922) Ulysses
Katzenbach, John (1995) The Shadow Man
Kay, Valerie, and Stevens, Peter (1974) Beyond the
Dictionary in English
Kee, Robert (1984) The World We Left Behind
(1993) The Laurel and the Ivy
Keegan, John (1989) The Second World War
(1991) Churchill's Generals
(1998) The First World War
Keith, Leslie (1896) The Indian Uncle
(1897) My Bonnie Lady
Kelly, James (1721) A Complete Collection of Scottish
Keneally, Thomas (1979) Confederates
(1982) Schindler's Ark
(1985) A Family Madness
(1987) The Playmaster
Kennedy, James (1998) Silent City
Kennedy, Patrick (1867) The Banks of the Boro
Kersh, Gerald (1936) Night and the City
King, Stephen (1990) I Shall Bear Witness

(1996) The Green Mue
Kinloch, George R. (1827) The Ballad Book
Kirkton, James (1817) The Secret and True History of
the Church of Scotland etc.
Klemperer, Victor (1998) J Shall Bear Witness
(translated by Martin Chalmers)
(1999) To the Bitter End (translated by Martin
Koontz, Dean (1997) Sole Survivor
Kramarae, Chéris, and Treichler, Panla (1985) A
Feminist Dictionary
Kyle, Duncan (1975) The Semenov Impulse
(1983) The King's Commander
(1988) The Honey Ant
Lacey, Robert (1986) Ford
Lauderdale, John (1796) A Collection of Poems
Lavine, Emanuel (1930) The Third Degree
Lawless, Emily (1892) Grania
Lawrence, Karen (1990) Springs of Living Water
le Carré, John (1962) A Murder of Quality
(1980) Smiley's People
(1983) The Little Drummer Girl
(1986) A Perfect Spy
(1989) The Russia House
(1991) The Secret Pilgrim
(1993) The Night Manager
(1995) Our Game
(1996) The Tailor of Panama
(1999) Single and Single
Lee, Christopher (1999) This Sceptred Isle
Lee, John Alexander (1937) Civilian into Soldier
Lee, Joseph J. (1989) Ireland 1912-1985
Lewis, Matthew (1795) The Monk
Lewis, Nigel (1989) Channel Firing
Liddle, William (1821) Poems on Different Occasions
Lingemann, Richard (1969) Drugs from A to 2
Linklaker, Eric (1964) Fatal Fascination
Linton, E. Lynn (1866) Lizzie Lorton ofGreyrigg
Lockhead, Liz (1985) Time Confessions and New
Lodge, David (1962) Ginger You're Barmy
(1975) Changing Places
(1980) How Far Can You Go?
(1988) Nice Work
(1995) Therapy
Lomax, Eric (1995) The Railway Man
Londres, Albeit (1928) The Road to Buenos Ayres
(translated by Eric Sutton)
Longstreet, Stephen (1956) The Real Jazz Old and
Lowson, Alexander (1890) John Guidfellow
Ludlum, Robert (1979) The Matarese Circle
(1984) The Aquitaine Progression
Lumsden, James (1892) Sheep-Head and Trotters
Lyall, Gavin (1965) Midnight Plus One
(1969) Venus with Pistol
(1972) Blame the Dead
(1975) Judas Country
(1980) The Secret Servant
(1982) The Conduct of Major Maxim
(1985) The Crocus List
Lyly, John (1579) Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit

Lynd, Robert (1946) Dr Johnson and Company
Lynn, Jonathan and Jay, Antony (1981) Yes
(1986) Yes Prime Minister
(1989) The Complete Yes Prime Minister
Lyons, Mary (ed.) (1996) The Memoirs of Mrs
Maas, Peter (1986) Man Hunt
McBain, Ed (1981) Heat
(1994) There Was a Little Girl
McCarthy, Mary (1963) The Group
(1967) Vietnam
McCarthy, Pete (2000) McCarthy's Bar
McCourt, Frank (1997) Angela's Ashes
(1999) "fis
McCrum, Robert (1991) Mainland
McCrum, Robert, Cran, William, and McNeil,
Robert (1986) The Story of English
MacDonagh, Michael (1898) Irish Life and Character
Macdonald, Ross (1952) The Ivory Grin
(1971) The Doomsters
(1976) The Blue Hammer
Mclnerney, Jay (1992) Brightness Falls
Mackenzie, George Stewart of Coul, quoted in
Prebble (1963)
Mackie, Marlene (1983) Gender Relations in Canada
Maclaren, Ian (1895) Beside the Bonnie Briar Bush
Maclean, Rory (1998) Under the Dragon
MacManus, Seumas (1898) The Bend of the Road
(1899) In Chimney Corners
McNab, Andy (1993) Bravo Two Zero
(1997) Remote Control
McNair, Tom (1973) A Guide to Hip Language and
MacTaggart, John (1824) Scottish Gallovidian Encylopaedia
Maggs, Colin (2001) The GWR Bristol to Bath Line
'Maidment, James (1844-5) Spottiswoode Miscellany
(1868) A Book of Scotch Pasquils, 1568-1715
Mailer, Norman (1965) An American Dream
Major, Clarence (1970) Black Slang: A Dictionary of
Afro-American Slang
Major, John (1999) The Autobiography
Manchester, William (1968) The Arms ofKrupp
Mandela, Nelson (1994) Long Walk to Freedom
Mann, Mary (1902) The Fields ofDulditch
Manning, Olivia (1960) The Great Fortune
(1962) The Spoilt City
(1965) Friends and Heroes
(1977) The Danger Tree
(1978) The Battle Lost and Won
Mantle, Jonathan (1988) Infor a Penny
'Mark VII' (1927) A Subaltern on the Somme
Marmur, Jacland (1955) The Kid in Command
Marsh, Ngaio (1941) Surfeit of Lampreys
Marshall, William H. (1811, 1817, 1818) Review
and Abstract of the County Reports to the Board of
Agriculture etc.
Marvell, Andrew (c.1670) Poems
Mason, A. E. W. (1927) No Other Tiger
Mason, David (1993) Shadow over Babylon

Mason, William S. (1815) A Statistical Account or
Parochial Survey of Ireland
Massie, Allan (1986) Augustus
Massie, Robert (1992) Dreadnought
Masters, John (1976) The Himalayan Concerto
Mather, Joseph (1862) Songs
Matthew, Christopher (1978) The Diary of a
(1983) How to Survive Middle Age
Mayberry, Tom (1998) The Vale ofTaunton Past
Mayhew, Henry (1851) London Labour and the
London Poor
(1861) Mayhew's London
(1862) London's Underground
Mayle, Peter (1993) Hotel Pastis
Mazower, Mark (1993) Inside Hitler's Greece
Mencken, Henry L. (1940-8) The AmericanLanguage
Milligan, Spike (1971) Adolf Hitler: My Part in his
Milton, Giles (1999) Nathaniel's Nutmeg
Mitchell, David (1982) The Spanish Civil War
Mitford, Jessica (1963) The American Way of Death
Mitford, Nancy (1945) The Pursuit of Love
(1949) Love in a Cold Climate
(1956) Noblesse Oblige
(I960) Don't Tell Alfred
Mockler, Anthony (1984) Haile Selassie's War
Moir, David (1828) The Life ofMansie Wauch
Moncrieff, William (1821) Tom and Jerry, or Life in
Monkhouse, Bob (1993) Crying with Laughter
Monsarrat, Nicholas (1978) The Master Mariner
Moore, L. W. (1893) His Own Story
Morison, David (1790) Poems
Morley, Robert (1976) Pass the Port
Mort, Simon (1986) Original Selection of New Words
Mortimer, Geoffrey (1895) Tales from the Western
Moss, Robert (1985) Moscow Rules
(1987) Carnival of Space
Moss, W. S. (1950) El Met by Moonlight
Moyes, P. (1980) Angel Death
Moynahan, Brian (1983) Airport International
(1994) The Russian Century
Mucklebackit, Samuel (1885) Rhymes
Muggeridge, Malcolm (1972) Chronicles of Wasted
Muir, Frank (1990) The Oxford Book of Humorous
(1997) A Kentish Lad
Muir, George (1816) The Clydesdale Minstrelsy
Murdoch, Alexander (1873) Lilts on the Doric Lyre
(1895) Scotch Readings
Murdoch, Iris (1974) The Sacred and Profane Love
(1977) Henry and Cato
(1978) The Sea, the Sea
(1980) Nuns and Soldiers
(1983) The Philosopher's Pupil
(1985) The Good Apprentice
Murray, C. S. (1989) Crosstown Traffic
Murray, D. Christie (1886) Rainbow Gold
(1890) John Vale's Guardian

Murray, Elisabeth (1977) Caught in the Web of
Nabokov, Vladimir (1968) King, Queen, Knave
Naipaul, V. S. (1964) An Area of Darkness
(1990) India: A Million Mutinies Now
Nares, Robert (1820) A Glossary or Collection of
Words etc.
Neaman, Judith N., and Silver, Carol S. (1983)
Kind Words: A Theasaurus of Euphemisms
New Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology (1968)
Nicholson, William (1814) Poetical Works
Nicholson, John, and Burn (1777) The History and
Antiquities of the Counties of Westmoreland and
Ninh, Bao (1991) The Sorrow of War (translated by
Frank Palmos)
Norfolk, Lawrence (1991) Lemprière's Dictionary
O'Callaghan, Sean (1998) The Informer
O'Connor, Joseph (1991) Cowboys and Indians
O'Donoghue, Maureen (1988) Winner
O'Hanlon, Redmond (1984) Into the Heart of
(1996) Congo Journey
O'Reilly, R. (1880) Sussex Stories
O'Rourke, P. J. (1991) Parliament of Whores
Oakley, Ann (1984) Taking it like a Woman
Ogg, James (1873) Willie Waly; and other Poems
Olivier, Laurence (1982) Confessions of an Actor
Ollard, Richard (1974) Pepys
Ollivant, Alfred (1898) Owd Bob, the Grey Dog of
Onions, C. T. (1975) The Oxford Dictionary of English
Ousby, Ian (1997) Occupation: The Ordeal of France
Oxford English Dictionary (1989 edition)
Pae, David (1884) Eustace the Outcast
Parker, Dorothy (1944) The Portable Dorothy
Parris, Matthew (1995) Great Parliamentary Scandals
Partridge, Eric (1947) Shakespeare's Bawdy
(1959) Origins
(1969) A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional
(1972) A Dictionary of Clichés
(1972) A Dictionary of Historical Slang (with
Jacqueline Simpson)
(1973) Usage and Abusage
(1977) A Dictionary of Catch Phrases
Paterson, R. C. (1998) A Land Afflicted
Patten, Chris (1998) East and West
Patterson, A. (1895) Man and Nature on the Broads
Patterson, James (1999) Pop Goes the Weasel
(2000) Roses are Red
Patterson, Richard North (1992) Degree of Guilt
(1994) Eyes of a Child
(1996) The Final Judgement
(1996) Silent Witness
Paxman, Jeremy (1998) The English

Payn, James (1878) By Proxy
Peacock, Edward (1870) Rolf Skirlaugh, the
Lancashire Farmer
Peacock, F. M. (1890) A Soldier and a Maid
Pearsall, Ronald (1969) The Worm in the Bud
Pease, Howard (1894) The Mark o' the Deil
Peck, M. Scott (1987) The Different Drum:
Community-Making and Peace
(1990) A Bed by the Window: A Novel of Mystery
and Redemption
Pegge, Samuel (1803) Anecdotes of the English
Pei, Mario (1969) Words in Sheep's Clothing
(1978) Weasel Words
Pennecuik, Alexander (1715) Description of
Tweeddale and Poems
Pepys, Samuel (1660-9) Diary
Pereira, M. (1972) Singing Millionaire
Perelman, S. J. (1937) Strictly from Hunger
Pérez-Réverté, Arturo (1994) The Flanders Panel
(translated by Costa Margaret Jull)
Peshall (1773) Ancient and Present State of the City of
Phillips, Julia (1991) You'll Never Eat Lunch in This
Town Again
Picken, Ebenezer (1813) Miscellaneous Poems and
Pilcher, Rosamund (1988) The Shell Seekers
Pincher, Chapman (1987) The Spycatcher Affair
'Pindar, Peter' (1816) Works
Pinnock, John (1895) Tom Brown's Black Country
Playboy's Book of Limericks (1972) (edited by Clifford Crist)
Pope, Alexander (1735) Poetical Works
Pope-Hennessy, James (1967) The Sins of the Fathers
Powetski, Grace (1992) Guardian Angel
Poyer, Joe (1978) The Contran
Praed, Campbell (1890) Romance Station
Prebble, John (1963) The Highland Clearances
Price, Anthony (1970) The Labyrinth Makers
(1971) The Alamut Ambush
(1972) Captain Butler's Wolf
(1974) Other Paths to Glory
(1975) Our Man in Camelot
(1978) The '44 Vintage
(1979) War Games
(1982) The Old Vengeful
(1985) Here Be Monsters
(1987) A New Kind of War
Proudlock, Lewis (1896) The Borderland Muse
Proulx, E. Annie (1993) The Shipping ^ews
Pynchon, Thomas (1997) Mason and Dixon
Pythiam, B. A. (1979) A Concise Dictionary of
Current English
Quiller-Couch, Arthur (1890) J Saw Three Ships
(1891) Noughts and Crosses
(1893) The Delectable Duchy
Rabelais, Francois (1532) Pantagruel
(1534) Gargantua (in translation)


Radford, Edwin, and Smith, Alan (1973) To Coin a
Rae, John (1993) Delusions of Grandeur
Ramsay, Allan (1737) Collection of Scots Proverbs
(1800 edition) Poems
Ramsay, E. B. (1858-61) Reminiscences of Scottish
Life and Character
Ranfiirly, Hermione (Countess of) (1994) To War
with Whitaker
Rawson, Hugh (1981) A Dictionary of Euphemisms
and Other Doubletalk
Ray, John (1678) A Collection of English Proverbs
Read, Piers Paul (1979) A Married Man
(1986) The Free Frenchman
(1995) A Patriot in Berlin
Reeman, Douglas (1994) Sunset
Rees, Nigel (1980) Graffiti
Rendell, Ruth (1991) Kissing the Gunner's Daughter
Richards, David Adams (1988) Nights Below Station
Richards, Frank (1933) Old Soldiers Never Die
(1936) Old Soldier Sahib
Ritchie, A. I. (1883) The Churches ofSt Baldred
Robbins, Harold (1981) Goodbye Janette
Roberts, Michael (1951) The Estate of Man
Roberts, Monty (1996) The Man Who Listens to
Rock, William F. (1867) Jim an' Nell
Rodger, Alexander (1838) Poems and Songs
Roethke, Theodore (1941) Open House
Roget's Thesaurus (1966 edition)
Ross, Alan (1956) Noblesse Oblige
Royle, Trevor (1989) The Last Days of the Raj
Runyon, Damon (1990 but written in 1930s)
On Broadway
Rushdie, Salman (1995) The Moor's Last Sigh
Russell, S. C. (c.1900) A Strange Voyage
Ryan, Andy (1998) Tenth Man Down
Ryan, Chris (1999) The Kremlin Device
St Pierre, Paul (1983) Smith and Other Events: Tales
Salinger, J. D. (1951) The Catcher in the Rye
Sale, Charles (1930) The Specialist
Sanders, Laurence (1970) The Anderson Tapes
(1973) The First Deadly Sin
(1977) The Second Deadly Sin
(1977) The Tangent Objective
(1979) The Sixth Commandment
(1980) The Tenth Commandment
(1980) Caper
(1981) The Third Deadly Sin
(1982) The Case of Lucy Bending
(1983) The Seduction of Peter S.
(1984) The Passion of Molly T.
(1985) The Fourth Deadly Sin
(1986) The Eighth Commandment
(1987) The Timothy Files
(1990) Sullivan's Sting
(1992) McNally's Luck
(1994) McNally's Caper
Sassoon, Siegfried (1928) Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting

'Saxon' (1878) Galloway Gossip Sixty Years Ago
Sayers, Dorothy (1937) Busman's Honeymoon
Scott, Andrew (1805) Poems
Scott, Paul (1968) The Day of the Scorpion
(1971) The Towers of Silence
(1973) The Jewel in the Crown
(1975) A Division of the Spoils
(1977) Staying On
Scott, Walter (1803) Minstrelsy of the Scottish
(1814) Waverley
(1815) Guy Mannering
(1816) The Antiquary
(1817) Rob Roy
(1818) The Heart of Midlothian
(1819) The Battle ofLammermoor
(1820) The Abbot
(1822) Nigel
(1824) Redgauntlet
Seitz, Raymond (1998) Over Here
Service, John (1887) The Life and Recollections of Dr
Duguid ofKilwinning
(1890) The Notandums
Seth, Vikram (1993) A Suitable Boy
Seymour, Gerald (1977) Kingfisher
(1980) The Contract
(1982) Archangel
(1984) In Honour Bound
(1989) Home Run
(1992) The Journeyman Tailor
(1995) The Heart of Danger
(1997) Killing Ground
(1998) The Waiting Time
(1999) A Line in the Sand
Shakespeare, William Plays and Sonnets (as noted)
Sharpe, Tom (1974) Porterhouse Blue
(1975) Blot on the Landscape
(1976) Wilt
(1977) The Great Pursuit
(1978) The Throwback
(1979) The Wilt Alternative
(1982) Vintage Stuff
Shaw, Irwin (1946) Short Stories: Five Decades
Sheldon, Sidney (1998) Tell me your Dreams
Sheppard, Harvey (1970) A Dictionary of Railway
Shipley, Joseph (1945) A Dictionary of Word Origins
Shirer, William (1984) The Nightmare Years 1930-

(1999) This is Berlin
Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1993 edition)
Sidney, Philip (1586) Works
Simon, Ted (1979) Jupiter's Travels
Simpson, John (1991) From the House of War
(1998) Strange Places, Questionable People
Sinclair, Keith (1991) A History of New Zealand
Skelton, John (1533) Magnyfycence
Slang Dictionary (The) (1874)
Slick, Samuel (1836) Clockmaker
Smith, Martin Cruz (1981) Gorky Park
Smith, Michael (1999) Foley: The Spy who Saved

10,000 Jews
Smith, Murray (1993) The Devil's Juggler

Smith, Tony (1986) Family Doctor, Home Adviser
Smith, W. H. C. (1991) Second Empire and
Smith, Wilbur (1979) Wild Justice
Smith, Sir William (1923) Latin-English Dictionary
Smith, William G., and Wilson, F. P. (1970) The
Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs
Smollett, Tobias (1748) Roderick Random
(1751) Peregrine Pickle
(1771) Humphrey Clinker
Sobel, Dava (1996) Longitude
Sohmer, Steve (1988) Favourite Son
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander (1974) The Gulag
Archipelago (translated by Thomas Whitney)
Somerville, A. E., and Ross, Martin (1894) The Real
(1897) Some Experiences of an Irish RM
(1908) Further Experiences of an Irish RM
Spears, Richard (1981) Slang and Euphemism
Spence, Charles (1898) From the Braes of the Carse
Stamp, Terence (1994) The Night
Stegner, Wallace (1940) The Women on the Wall
Steinbeck, John (1961) The Winter of our Discontent
Stevens, Gordon (1996) Kara's Game
Stevenson, Robert Louis (1884) The Resurrection
Stewart, George E. (1892) Shetland Fireside Tales
Stewart, Graham (1999) Burying Caesar
Stoker, Bram (1895) The Watter's Mou'
Strachey, Lytton (1918) Eminent Victorians
Strain, E. H. (1900) Elmslie's Drag-Net
Strong, Terence (1994) The Tick Tock Man
(1997) Rogue Element
(1998) Deadwater Deep
Styron, William (1976) Sophie's Choice
Sullivan, Frank (1953) The Night the Old Nostalgia
Burned Down
Sutcliffe, Halliwell (1899) By Moor and Fell
(1900) Shameless Wayne
(1901) Mistress Barbara Cunlijfe
Sutherland, James (1975) The Oxford Book of
Literary Anecdotes
Sutherland, William (1821) Poems and Songs
Swift, Jonathan (1723-38) Works
Taraporevala, Soomi (2000) Pursis
Tarras, William (1804) Poems
Taylor, Mary (1890) Miss Mues
Taylor, William (1787) Scots Poems
Teisser du Croix, Janet (1962) Divided Loyalties
Tennyson, Alfred (1859) The Idylls of the King
(1885) The Spinster's Sweet Arts
Tester, William (1865) Poems
Thackeray, William (1837-55) Works
Theroux, Paul (1971) Jungle Lovers
(1973) Saint Jack
(1974) The Black House
(1975) The Great Railway Bazaar
(1976) The Family Arsenal
(1977) The Consul's File
(1978) Picture Palace
(1979) The Old Patagonian Express
(1980) World's End and Other Stories

(1981) The Mosquito Coast
(1982) The London Embassy
(1983) The Kingdom by the Sea
(1988) Riding the Red Rooster
(1989) My Secret History
(1990) Chicago Loop
(1992) The Happy Isles of Oceania
(1993) Millroy the Magician
(1995) The Pillars of Hercules
Thorn, Robert (1878) The Courtship and Wedding of
Jack o' the Knowe
Thomas, Clive (1993) Playing with Cobras
Thomas, Hugh (1961) The Spanish Civil War
(1986) Armed Truce
(1993) The Conquest of Mexico
Thomas, Leslie (1977) Bare Nell
(1978) Ormerod's Landing
(1979) That Old Gang of Mine
(1981) The Magic Army
(1986) The Adventures of Goodnight and Loving
(1989) Orders for New York
(1994) Running Away
(1996) Kensington Heights
(1997) Chloe's Song
Thomas, Michael (1980) Green Monday
(1982) Someone Else's Money
(1985) Hard Money
(1987) The Ropespinner Conspiracy
Thompson, Rupert (1996) The Insult
Thompson, David (1881) Musings amongthe Heather
Thwaite, Anthony (1992) Selected Letters of Philip
Larkin 1940-1985
Tomalin, Claire (1997) Jane Austen
Torriano, Giovanni (1642) A Common Place of
Italian Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases
Townsend, Sue (1982) The Secret Diary of Adrian
Mole Aged 13%
(1984) The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole
Train, John (1983) Preserving Capital and Making it
'Treddlehoyle' (Rogers, Charles) (1838-75) (ed.
Isaac Binns, 1876-83, and reprinted in Leeds
Mercury, 1892-3) The Bairnsla Foak's Annual an
Pogmoor Olmenack
Tremain, Rose (1999) Music and Silence
'Trevanian', (1972) The Eiger Sanction
(1973) The Loo Sanction
Trevor-Roper, Hugh (1977) Introduction to Goebbels' Diaries
Trollope, Anthony (1885) The Land-Leaguers
Trollope, Joanna (1992) The Man and the Girls
Tulloch, Sara (1991) The Oxford Dictionary of New
Turner, E. S. (1952) The Shocking History of
Turner, Graeme (1968) Our Secret Economy
Turner, Graham, and Pearson, John (1965) The
Persuasion Industry
Turow, Scott (1987) Presumed Innocent
(1990).The Burden of Proof
(1993) Pleading Guûty
(1996) The Laws of our Fathers
(1999) Personal Injuries

Twain, Mark (1884) The Adventures of Huckleberry
Tweeddale, John (1896) Maff
Tyrrell, Syd (1973) A Countryman's Tale
Upfield, A. (1932) Royal Abduction
Ustinov, Peter (1966) The Frontiers of the Sea
(1971) Krumnagel
Vachell, Horace (1934) The Disappearance of
Martha Penny
van Druten, J. (1954) lama Camera
van Lustbaden, Eric (1983) Black Heart
Vanderhaeghe, Guy (1997) The Englishman's Boy
Vedder, David (1832) Orcadian Sketches
Verney (Lady) (1870) Lettice Lisle
Wainwright, J. (1979) Duty Elsewhere
Wallace, James (1693) A Description of the Isles of
Wambaugh, Joseph (1972) The Blue Knight
(1975) The Choirboys
(1981) The Glitter Dome
(1983) The Delta Star
Ward, Geoffrey C. (1990) The Civil War
Ward, Mary (Mrs Humphrey) (1895) The Story of
Bessie Costrell
Ward, T. (1708) Some Queries to the Protestants etc.
Wardrop, Alex (1881) Johnnie Mathison's Courtship
and Marriage
Waugh, Auberon (from Private Eye and Daily
Telegraph diaries as noted)
Waugh, Evelyn (1930) Labels
(1932) Remote People
(1933) Scoop
(1955) Officers and Gentlemen
(1956) Noblesse Oblige
Webster, John (1623) The Duchess ofMalfi
Webster, Noah (1977 Merriam edition) New
Collegiate Dictionary

Wentworth, Harold, and Flexner, Stuart R.
Dictionary of American Slang (1975 edition)
West, Morris (1979) Proteus
West, Nigel (1982) MI5, 1945-72
Westall, William (1885) The Old Factory
Weverka, Robert (1973) The Sting
Wheeler, Ann (1790) The Westmoreland Dialect
Whicker, Alan (1982) Within Whicker's World
Whitehead, Anthony (1896) Legends ofPenrith
Whitehead, S. R. (1876) Daft Davie
Willock, A. Dewar (1886) Rosetty Ends
Wilson, Harry L. (1915) Ruggles of Red Gap
Wilson, John (1603) The Bachelor's Banquet
Wilson, John Mackay (1836) Tales
Wilson, Thomas (1843) The Pitman's Pay
Winchester, Simon (1998) The Surgeon of
Winton, Tim (1994) The Riders
Wodehouse, P. G. (1922) Girl on Boat
(1930) Very Good, Jeeves!
(1930) Letter in Donaldson, 1990
(1934) Right Ho, Jeeves!
Wodrow, Robert (1721) The History of the Sufferings
of the Church of Scotland etc.
Wolfe, Tom (1987) The Bonfire of the Vanities
Wood, Frederick (1962) Current English Usage
(1979) Dictionary of English Colloquial Idioms
(with Robert Hill)
Woodward, Rob (1987) Veil
Wouk, Herman (1951) The Caine Mutiny
Wright, Elizabeth Mary (1932) The Life of Joseph
Wright, Joseph (1897) Scenes of Scottish Life
(1898-1905) The English Dialect Dictionary
Wright, Ronald (1989) Time among the Maya
Young, Edward (1721) The Revenge
Yule, Henry and Burnell, A. C. (1886) Hobson-Jobson
'Zack' (Keats, Gwendoline) (1901) Tales of
Dunstable Weir

A1 | above your ceiling

Al amphetamine ingested illegally
An evasion among many in the argot of those
who illegally ingest narcotics:
Goodman had learnt the alternative names
for amphetamines. These included: Al,
beans, bombido, bumblebees, cartwheels,
chicken powder, co-pilots, crank, crossroads, diet pills, eye-openers, footballs,
French blues, greenies, hearts, lightning,
line, macka, miniberries, roses, speed,
splash, sulph, thrusters, toffee whizz, truck
drivers, turnabouts, wakeamine and zoom.
(Fiennes, 1996)
AC/DC indulging in both heterosexual
and homosexual practices
The reference is to the incompatible direct
and alternating current in electricity supply.
Also spelt phonetically as acey-deecy:
Young attractive housewife, AC/DC, would
like to meet married AC/DC people to join
well-endowed husband for threesomes or
moresomes. (Daily Telegraph, May 1980)
So, he was acey-deecy... Lots of old altar
boys play hide-the-weenie when they
shouldn't. (Sohmer, 1988)
à trois in a sexual relationship involving
three people
From ménage à trois, describing a couple
married or living together and the outside
sexual partner of one of them:
I've been living à trois with a married
couple. Do I shock you? (I. Murdoch,

The abdomen is the lower cavity of the trunk,
which the shield, commonly called a box,
does not cover. If you hear a commentator
suggest a player writhing in agony on the
ground has been hit 'in the lower abdomen',
it means he has had a disabling blow in his
genitalia. See also WINDED.
aberration a sexual act or preference
which is not heterosexual
Literally, a deviation from the norm:
There's a great deal of tolerance for, well,
aberrations. (Burgess, 1980)
ableism insensitivity towards lame or injured people
Used by those who may describe the fit as
temporarily abled, presumably on the basis that
their turn will come:
Likewise 'ableism' or 'oppression of the
differently abled ('disabled' is
discriminatory) by the temporarily abled',
is firmly proscribed. (Daily Telegraph, 23
January 1991, quoting from a publication
put out by Smith College, Mass.)
ablutions a lavatory
Originally, the religious rite of washing,
whence washing the body on any occasion,
and then the place in which you washed. An
army usage:
We were told to choose a bed site... shown
where the Ablutions were. (Bogarde, 1978,
describing being drafted into the army)
abnormal obsolete homosexual
In the days when heterosexuality was the only
accepted norm:
... lived an institutional life with other men
in uniform without ever seriously arousing
the suspicion that he was what is called
abnormal. (P. Scott, 1975)
Whence abnormality, homosexuality:
The fact that he revealed a hatred of
'abnormality' was only to be expected.
'What a filthy Lesbian trick.' (M. McCarthy,

abandoned obsolete working as a prostitute
Literally, forsaken, but not, it would seem, by
her clients:
The foolish idea... that once abandoned
she must always be profligate. (Mayhew,
abode of love a brothel
Where love imports copulation:
The punning abandoned habits were the flashy
These abodes of love seen from the other
clothes prostitutes wore when riding in
side are strangely transfigured. All is order,
London's Hyde Park.
cleanliness and respectability. (Londres,
1928, in translation)
abbess obsolete a female bawd
Partly humorous and partly based on the
suppositiond that nunneries were not solely
occupied by chaste females:
above your ceiling promoted to a level
... who should come in but the venerable
mother Abbess herself. (Cleland, 1749,
beyond your abilities
writing of a brothel)
Not merely rummaging about in the attic:
L. M. is a very nice chap... but he is
abdominal protector a shield for the
definitely above his ceiling. (Home, 1994—
Montgomery was speaking of
male genitalia

absent parent | accost
Leigh-Mallory, the senior allied airman
during the 1944 invasion of Europe)
absent parent a parent who does not live
with his or her infant child or children
Usually, the father, who is not just away on a
business trip:
We must be careful that we do not empty
our surgeries of angry absent parents only
to fill them with angry lone parents
instead. {Daily Telegraph, 5 July 1994,
quoting the British Social Security

absorption a military conquest
Literally, the chemical or physical process of
These measures, together with the
'absorption' of the Baltic states in the
north, advanced the western frontiers of
the Soviet Union by hundreds of miles.
(A. Clark, 1995, writing about the
Russian seizure of eastern Poland in
abuse the use of a person or object for a
taboo or illegal purpose
Literally, any kind of maltreatment or misuse.
Descriptive as both noun and verb of sexual
activity, especially by adults with children:
If Mayhew's figures for the abuse of
children are suspect, so are his figures for
rape. (Pearsall, 1969)
... the cases for 'carnally abusing' girls
between the ages of ten and twelve were a
To abuse yourself is to masturbate, of either sex,
and see SELF-ABUSE.

Abuse is also descriptive of the illegal ingestion
of narcotics or the excessive consumption of
... both now dead... Anthony from
drink and 'abuse' in Dublin. (A. Clark,
abuse a bed obsolete to cuckold
Not just to leap about on it:
See the hell of having a false woman. My
bed shall be abused. (Shakespeare, The
Merry Wives of Windsor)

academic dismissal expulsion from college
Not the end of classes for the day:
No student ever gets expelled any more,
though he may suffer 'academic dismissal'.
(Jennings, 1965)
academically subnormal of very low ability or intelligence
Logic tells us that half of any class will be
above the mean, and half below it:

The BBC had been offered the series and
had turned it down because one of the
pupils was 'academically subnormal'.
(F. Muir, 1997, writing about of the
television programme Please Sir)
academy obsolete a brothel
Literally, a school, from the original garden
where Plato taught:
... the show of a shop was shut, the
academy open'd; the mark of mockmodesty was completely taken off.
(Cleland, 1749)
Continuing the joke, if such it was, the
prostitutes were termed academicians.
accident1 involuntary urination or defecation
Literally, anything which happens, whence,
in common use, anything undesirable:
I've never punished him, the way our
mothers and nurses did, when he has an
'accident'. (M. McCarthy, 1963)
accident2 an unplanned pregnancy
To treat impregnation as though it were an
unforeseeable happening may seem unduly
innocent or cavalier:
I have the means to prevent
any... accident. I promise I'll be very
careful. (Styron, 1976)
A child born under these circumstances may
also be called an accident.
accommodate yourself to urinate
At some distance from the Latin meaning, to
make fit:
... our guide stopped on the path and
accommodated himself in a way that
made me think his reverence for the
[holy] spot was far from fanatical.
(E. Waugh, 1932)
accommodation house obsolete a brothel
A place where male lust was accommodated:
... took him along to one of the
accommodation houses in Haymarket and
got him paired off with a whore. (Fraser,
1973, writing in 19th-century style)
See also house of accommodation under

accost to approach a stranger with a
taboo request or suggestion
Originally, accost meant to lie alongside,
which may be what a prostitute has in mind:
Gladstone refers to being 'accosted', i. e.
the initiative was the prostitute's, not, as in
the past, his. (Parris, 1995—the Liberal
Prime Minister habitually sought out
prostitutes in the streets, to reform them,
so he averred)
Also of begging in a public place.

accouchement | action 2
accouchement the period of childbirth
What was a euphemism in French becomes
doubly so in standard English use:
Queen Victoria had taken a personal
interest in the Empress's accouchement
and has sent... one of her ladies-in-waiting
to be present at the birth. (W. H. C. Smith,
account for to kill
Used of animals by humans and of humans by
soldiers. The usage might imply a reckoning
of the number slain but it may equally refer to
a single victim:
A more suitable way of describing such
an event, the Foxhunters' Society
suggested delicately, might be a casual
'the animal was accounted for'. (Whicker,
accumulate (of securities) do not sell
Jargon of the financial analyst whose job is to
promote activity among investors rather than
pass them bad news:
Merrill Lynch described a trading
statement for Pilkington as 'encouraging'
but downgraded its rating of stock to
'accumulate' from 'buy'. {Daily Telegraph,
21 March 2001—the share price duly
ace American to kill
From taking a trick at cards:
The gaunt man, his hands enclosed in
blood-covered surgeon's plastic gloves,
looked up at him. 'Someone's aced the
lady.' (Diehl, 1978)

Literally, to gain possession of, as by purchase.
Whence acquisition, obtaining by stealing or
Lafarge was 'at present furthering
arrangements for the acquisition of one
hundred Slingshots'. (Hall, 1988—he was
trying to steal them)
act (the) copulation
Sometimes tout court but more often as the act
of shame (if outside marriage); of generation, of
intercourse, of love; or the sexual act:
My prepuce contracted so that the act
would have been difficult. (F. Harris,
... she with Cassio hath the act of shame
A thousand times committed.
(Shakespeare, Othello)
The embrace of the sexes in the act of
generation. (EDD)
An act of intercourse took place, in the
course of which both partners achieved
climax. (Amis, 1978)
It was the time after the act of love.
(M. West, 1979)
The sexual act is fully covered, but not in
these pages. (Longstreet, 1956)
However, a sexual act may imply no more than
a pinched bottom.
act like a husband to have a sexual relationship with a female to whom you are
not married
But not of an encounter with a prostitute:
Jessie confessed that her sister accused
her of letting me 'act like a husband'.
She must have seen the stain on my
chemise. (F. Harris, 1925)

acid lysergic acid diethylamide
Actaeon literary one who cuckolds anBetter known as LSD. To drop acid is to ingest
it illegally:
... he was dropping acid and bombed out of
In the legend Actaeon was no more than a
his gourd. (Sanders, 1977)
casual observer of Artemis's nakedness, and
An acid-head or acidfreakis someone addicted
she had no husband to take offence. Neverto LSD:
theless she turned him into a stag and set his
... mantras on the lips of fashion-conscious
own pack on him:
acid-heads across Europe and the United
Divulge Page himself for a secure and
wilful Actaeon. (Shakespeare, The Merry
States. (Dalrymple, 1998)
Wives of Windsor)

acorn academy American an institution
for the mentally ill
Where you consign a NUT I:
'Your Honor, were these the acts of a sane
man?'—and Dan would be hidden away in
an acorn academy for a period of years.
(Sanders, 1973)
acorns American the testicles
A variant of NUTS:

... shrieked as the spray hit him in the
acorns. (Wambaugh, 1975)
acquire to steal

action1 vice or illegal activity, or its proceeds
Usually illegal gambling, narcotics, or prostitution:
... one waits while the Federal authorities,
mayors and the Mafia decide... how
much of the action they want. (Allbeury,
A slice of the action is a share in the activity or
proceeds. See also PIECE OF THE ACTION.

action2 the brutal harassment of supposed opponents

actlon 3 (the) | adjustment4
The Aktion of the Nazis, normally directed at
Jewish citizens:
Schindler had not dared believe that this
red child had survived the Aktion process.
(Keneally, 1982)
action3(the) a chance of casual copulation
The ambience or venue where like-minded
individuals may be met:
Then he stared around to check the
action. (Sanders, 1982—he had gone
to a bar in search of a woman for
casual sex)
active not physically impaired by age or
Descriptive of geriatrics who have retained
Active Adult Golf Community,
(advertisement in Gainesville, Florida,
November 1987, for houses adjacent to a
golf course)
or of those who continue to engage in sexual
They say Willie Maugham had [youth pills],
too, and he was still active, if you know
what I mean, the day he died. (B. Forbes,
activist a political zealot
No longer merely a supporter of the philosophy of activism. Describing those supporting
an autocracy:
On the few occasions when Chinese people
supposedly demonstrated outside foreign
embassies, activists had always been there
to direct everything. (Cheng, 1984)
but more often, in the West, an activist is a
person willing to break the law in pursuit of
his beliefs.
actress obsolete a prostitute
Until a liberating decree of Charles II female
roles on stage were played by males. Thereafter, for some three centuries, acting was not
considered a respectable profession for a
The actress and the singer were considered
nothing much more than prostitutes with a
sideline. (Longstreet, 1956)
acute environmental reaction American an inability to continue fighting
Vietnam jargon, for a condition where it
is hard to tell mental illness from selfpreservation or cowardice:
Most Americans would rather be told that
their son is undergoing acute
environmental reaction than to hear he is
suffering from shell shock. (Herr, 1977)
Adam's arsenal the male genitalia

The source from which the human race was
first engendered, so we are led to believe:
It wasn't just that she was unusually partial
to Adam's arsenal... (Fraser, 1971, of a
lusty female)
Of the same tendency is, or was, Eve's customhouse, where Adam was supposed to have
'made his first entry'. (Grose)
adapt to dye
Of human hair:
She 'mutates' or 'adapts' or 'colourcorrects' her hair. (Jennings, 1965)
additional means illegal drugs taken for
body-building purposes
A method used by the Communist regime in
East Germany (and cheats elsewhere) to
achieve athletic success:
What is certain that a large number of GDR
sportsmen used 'additional means'. (Sunday
Telegraph, 27 January 1994)
adjust your dress to do up the fasteners
on your trousers
Once fly-buttons, now zips. Still sometimes
seen in the admonition in public lavatories for
males: 'Please adjust your dress before leaving.'
adjustment1 an adverse price movement
If you are buying, a price adjustment means you
will pay more:
Price adjustment adds £5m to Carsington
bill. (Water-bulletin, August 1983)
However, if you own shares, an adjustment
means the prices have gone down:
Last week's yo-yo swings imply that
significant financial risks remain
internationally. We are now in a period
of adjustment. {Sunday Telegraph, 2
November 1997—share prices had fallen

adjustment2 the concealment of an illegality
In particular, the perversion of justice
through bribery or influence:
They caught him molesting a child in a
public school in Queens. The desk
sergeant had enough sense not to
book him. The final adjustment cost
about eighteen thousand dollars.
(Condon, 1966)
adjustment3 the cure of the mentally ill
Correcting a deviation from the norm:
Lucy is a very disturbed child, and a long
way from adjustment. (Sanders, 1982)
adjustment4 the subjective alteration of
published accounts

administrative leave | aesthete
With publicly owned corporations, usually
showing increased profits or assets, and with
those privately owned, attempting to reduce
profit and so avoid paying tax:
The purpose of the 'adjustments' was to
put the bank in the best possible light
when the year-end figures ultimately
appeared in the annual report. (Erdman,
administrative leave American suspension from duty for alleged malpractice
Not appearing to prejudge the issue:
Administrative leave is the same thing as
being suspended... the first step to being
fired. (P. Cornwell, 2000)
admirer a woman's regular sexual partner outside marriage
In Jane Austen's day and writing, an admirer
indulged in formal courtship. Half a century
later the euphemistic use had developed:
... met her admirer at a house in Bolton
Row that she was in the habit of
frequenting. (Mayhew, 1862)
Still occasionally used humorously.
adult1 pornographic
Used in connection with literature, films,
stage shows, and erotica deemed unsuitable
for children but, by implication, in accord
with the tastes of fully grown people:
... nothing but taverns, junkyards, and
adult book stores. (Sanders, 1980)
However the American adult trailer park
merely bars residents with children.
adult 2 adulterous
The way grown-ups supposedly behave:
The Duchess had never made any secret of
her adult relationships in the years before
she married. She had affairs with... {Daily
Telegraph, 14 January 1994)
advantaged neither poor nor feckless
Political jargon of those who believe that
individual prosperity may result more from
injustice and greed than from thrift and
application. Thus the poor may be described

adventure 2 a sexual relationship with
other than your regular partner
Again from the original meaning, a chance or
exciting event:
I cannot have an adventure with Martin. He
would boast of me. (Theroux, 1980)
adventuress a promiscuous female
Not just a female who travels the world or
does exciting things:
... she was also an adventurer, in the
precise sense of the word—one who has
adventures, as opposed to an adventuressone who has lovers. (Blanch, 1954)
adventurous (of a woman) promiscuous
Addicted to many an ADVENTURE 2:
It was hardly news that Nora was
adventurous. Soon after I met her on date
number two, it was Nora Goggins who gave
me my first blow job. (Turow, 1993)
adverse event (an) a death
Medical jargon but not of losing your wallet:
Although the possibility of an adverse
event occurring might be negligible (less
than one in a million) this does not mean
that it might not occur to someone. {Daily
Telegraph, 5 December 1996, reporting on
sudden death among young people
through disease)
adviser the representative of an imperial
power in a client state
Doing much more than merely giving advice:
The Spanish Communist leaders moved
out in the wake of their Russian 'advisers'.
(Boyle, 1979)
aerated drunk
Literally, describing a liquid charged with gas,
rather than a body charged with liquid:
Now they know Master Frank; they
know he's apt to get a bit aerated (or
merry as other people might say). (Tyrrell,
' 1973)
Aerated, of a person, may also mean angry or

as the least advantageous section of the community:

By constantly devoting attention and
resources to the least advantageous section
of the community, deprivation will be
eliminated altogether. (Hattersley, 1995—
but see John, 12: 8)
adventure 1 a war
Originally, a chance happening. Normally a
description of a conflict in which the aggressor expects easy gains:
Stalin will [not] allow himself to be dragged
into the Pacific adventure. (Goebbels, 1945,
in translation)

aesthete a male homosexual
Literally, one who affects a higher appreciation of beauty than others:
... aesthetes—you know—those awful
effeminate creatures—pansies. (N. Mitford,
Whence aesthetidsm, male homosexuality:
He had been at the House, but remarked
with a shade of regret that he had not
found any aestheticism in his day.
(E. Waugh, 1930—the House is a college at
Oxford, not a legislature in Washington or

aesthetic procedure (an) | agent
aesthetic procedure (an) cosmetic surgery
Intended to make the patient more beautiful:
They were concerned that my teeth never
showed, even when I smiled, but they said
the cure was simple. They had what they
called an aesthetic procedure. (Iacocca,

affair(e) a sexual relationship with someone other than your regular partner
The English version is now more common:
... having a vigorous and even dangerous
wife, and an affair problem. (Bradbury,
In French it might include the person involved as well as the relationship:
He comes to see the singer Floriana. He's
her latest affaire. (Manning, 1960)
Also of homosexual relationships:
His affairs with men had been few.
(P. Scott, 1971)
A man of affairs is merely a businessman.

people unable to meet the full cost of
buying or renting in the open market.
[Daily Telegraph, 2 3 October 1995)

African American black
Another twist in the tortuous path of evasion
where skin pigmentation is concerned:
Black people may be black, but many now
prefer 'African American'. (Daily Telegraph,
23 February 1991)
African-descended American black
A euphemism not used of Egyptians, Moroccans, Boers, and many others of African
Jackson... a long, loose-joined Africandescended male... (Turow, 1996)
afterlife death
Used especially by Quakers, spiritualists, and
others who have confidence that death is not
the end:
'It is the smell of afterlife.' 'It smells more
like that of afterdeath,' said Jessica.
(Sharpe, 1978)

affair of honour obsolete a duel
From the days when insults were taken
'There is a small open space behind the
horse lines,' said he. 'We have held a few
affairs of honour there.' (A. C. Doyle, 1895)

afternoon man a debauchee
He is supposed not to be an early-riser:
They are a company of giddy-heads,
afternoon men. (R. Burton, c.1621)
Probably obsolete despite its use by Anthony
Powell in the title of his 1933 novel.

affirmative action preferential treatment for particular classes of people
when making appointments
Originally, in America, denoting attempts to
promote black people. Now used of similar
preference given to those who are not
dominant white, fit, heterosexual males:
And of course, there's Affirmative Action.
Apparently there aren't too many black
or Hispanic Masterwomen. (M. Thomas,

after-shave a perfume used by males
The original justification for its use, in the
days when men did not use perfume, was the
alleviation of smarting after using a razor
blade. The continuing choice of macho names
for these products indicates that the taboo
against male use of cosmetics is not quite
His sweet-whisky fragrance of after-shave
lotion stung my eyes. (Theroux, 1982).

afterthought a child born in wedlock
following an unplanned conception
afflicted subject to physical or mental abAmong the processes connected with the
event, premeditation is not prominent:
Not just labouring under the effects of a
Being the youngest in the family—what is
temporary disability. An affliction of the loins
commonly called an 'afterthought'—she
was a venereal disease:
also a little spoilt. (Read, 1986)
I do not understand what kind of an
affliction of the loins you can have to
ageful American old or geriatric
render mercury beneficial. (Dalrymple,
Coined by the POLITICALLY CORRECT, among
1993, quoting from a letter dated c.1817—it
whom any mention that people grow old, and
was probably syphilis)
therefore often infirm, is taboo. In British
legal jargon, to be of full age is to be eighteen
affordable cheap
years or older.
Used of household equipment and of small
and often skimpy houses built for the poor:
agent a participant in a taboo employThe associations took over from the
councils as the main providers of social
housing in 1988, with the intention of
In espionage, a spy, and specifically a secret
providing 'affordable' accommodation for
agent. In male homosexual penetrative activity,

aid I alley cat
the donor—the recipient is the patient. In
warfare, a poison, such as the notorious Agent
Orange used by the Americans in Vietnam for
We also use agent in job descriptions to
enhance our status. Thus the British estate
agent (the American realtor or real estate agent)

is at law the agent of neither the buyer nor
the seller. There is an infinite variety of
American agents, often no more than junior
employees with no delegated responsibilities.

sublimation' (SOED).
Alderman Lushington see LUSH
alienate to pilfer or steal
Either from the meaning to make less close, or
from the legal jargon, to transfer ownership:
You can 'alienate' as much pineboard as
that? (Keneally, 1982—he was stealing
from a pile of lumber)
all night man obsolete British a dealer in

aid a gift from a rich to a poor country
Or, as Lord Bauer pointed out, a gift from the
poor in a rich country to the rich in a poor
MPs are to launch an enquiry into
allegations that British aid was used to buy
a fleet of 35 Mercedes limousines for the
government of Malawi. (Sunday Telegraph,
29 October 2000)
Tied aid means that the donor is arranging
credits or spending cash to assist its exporters.

air (the) peremptory dismissal from employment or courtship
Referring to the figurative or actual ejection
from the premises in which the work or
courting took place:
If Victoria wants to give Jamie the air, it's
no business of ours. (Deighton, 1982)

air support an attack from aircraft
Military jargon for raids to help soldiers on
the ground. The usage is so common that we
forget the logical meaning of the phrase,
including the phenomenon whereby a laminar flow of air supports an aircraft in flight.
airhead a person of limited intelligence
or ability
With supposedly no brain in the cranium:
The downfall of the mighty always tickles
the police, who generally see themselves as
unappreciated vassals keeping the world
safe for the airheads on top. (Turow, 1996)
airport novel a book written for a person
who does not read regularly
For the captive traveller market and considered by the literati to be unworthy of their
I've even redone some of the airport novels
which made Mr Follett sorich.(Daily
Telegraph, 3 July 2000)

He took newly buried corpses for sale to
teaching hospitals, especially in Scotland.
There was no property, or ownership, in
a corpse and a paucity of donors who
were fearful of a piecemeal return to earth
of themselves or their relatives at the
expected Resurrection of the Dead.

all-nighter a contract with a prostitute to
stay with her all night
Prostitutes' jargon:
The price of a short-time with massage
stayed the same, and an all-nighter cost
only an extra three-fifty. (Theroux, 1973)

all over with death for
From the meaning, finished, but showing
little faith in the hereafter:
Then with a groan, his head jerked back,
and it was all over with him. (A. C. Doyle,
all-rounder a person of both heterosexual and homosexual tastes
In a sport it describes someone with ability in
various aspects of a game:
She was a bit of an all-rounder. Both
sexes, general fun and games. (Davidson,

all the way (of sexual activity) with full

As different from intermediate stages of
'Have you had sex together?' He blushed.
'Well, ah, not exactly. I mean, we've
done... things. But not, you know, all the
way. (Sanders, 1981)
all up with about to die
A variant of ALL OVER WITH:

Ajax see JAKES

alcohol an intoxicant
The standard English is a shortened form of
alcohol of wine,fromthe meaning, a condensed
spirit. This in turn was derived from kohl, 'a
fine powder produced by grinding or esp. by

It's all up with him, poor lad... His bowels
is mortified. (Fraser, 1971)
allergic to lead see LEAD
alley cat a prostitute
Both are reputed to frequent narrow lanes:

alternative | ammunition
These alley cats pluck at your sleeve as you
pick your way along the steep cobbled
footpath. (Theroux, 1975)
As a verb, of a male, it means to be
... couldn't stand the thought of the guy
alley-catting around. (Sanders, 1977)

From television advertising on behalf of an
Australian brand also brewed in Britain.
ambidextrous having both heterosexual
and homosexual tastes
Of men and women, from the ability to use
either hand with equal skill.

alternative different from existing social
ambiguous homosexual or bisexual
arrangement, practicality, or convenLiterally, having more than one meaning or
being hard to classify:
By associating herself with the free love
The use implies that the methods or tastes
movement, by marrying a man with
proposed or chosen are preferable to or more
ambiguous sexual interests... (Pearsall,
efficacious than those generally adopted,
whether it be alternative medicine, gardening,
nutrition, religion, education, defence (pacifism),
lifestyle, sexuality (homosexuality), or whatever: ambivalent having both heterosexual
and homosexual tastes
Eva Wilt's... Alternative Medicine
Literally, entertaining two opposite emotions
alternated with Alternative Gardening and
at the same time:
Alternative Nutrition and even various
Sexually I'd say some of the company was
Alternative Religions. (Sharpe, 1979)
on the ambivalent side. (P. Scott, 1975)
I'm into Marxist aesthetics. I'm interested
in alternative education. (Bradbury, 1976)
ambrosia an intoxicant
... an 'alternative defence workshop' led by
Originally, the food, and less often the drink,
Mrs Joan Ruddock, CND Chairman. (Daily
of the gods:
Telegraph, November 1983)
Should we admire marriage or 'alternative
Bring your own ambrosia or take pot luck.
lifestyles'? (Daily Telegraph, 14 December
(Sharpe, 1976)
1998, quoting Tony Blair)
ambulance-chaser someone who greedHomosexuality, with the inevitable
ily touts for business
personal disorientation it generates, was
Referring to the practice, supposedly origishrugged off as 'alternative sexuality'.
nated by American lawyers, of following an
(Daily Telegraph, November 1979)
ambulance to hospital in the hope of being
His relations with the women he
briefed by the victim to sue someone:
photographed appear to have remained
Mader was a shyster in the Quorn
professional and friendly and—even
Building. An ambulance-chaser, a small
though he never married—scandal
time fixer, an alibi builder-upper.
never fastened on an alternative
(Chandler, 1939)
proclivity. (Daily Telegraph, obituary of
August 1990)
Now used as a verb and also of other seekers
after custom:
amateur a promiscuous woman
During the summer months we were
Literally, a person who loves doing someconstantly being associated with potential
thing, whence a performer who does it withbidders but we are quite clear that we want
out payment:
to remain independent. We want all
... stark except for her riding boots. That
ambulance-chasing merchant banks to
took me aback, for it ain't usual among
understand that. (Daily Telegraph, 17
amateurs. (Fraser, 1971)
November 1997)
In the 19th century, an amateur was a
prostitute who also had other employment:
America First isolationism
... working at some trade or other before
It was the name of an organization campaignlosing their virtue... called the 'amateurs'
ing for neutrality in the Second World War.
to contra-distinguish them from the
This stance was supported by 67% of a sample
professionals. (Mayhew, 1862)
in a poll conducted in 1939. Of the same
sample, 12% wanted aid sent to those fighting
amatory rites acts of copulation
Nazism and 2% were prepared to agree to
Not the marriage service:
providing military assistance. (Deighton,
... my two friends soon translated both
their sleeping arrangements and their
Sloan did not care if Hitler gobbled up the
deafening amatory rites to the bed in
whole of Europe—he was for America First.
Nathan's quarters. (Styron, 1976)
(M. McCarthy, 1963)
amber fluid/liquid/nectar


ammunition lavatory paper

amorous favours | annex
Of the same tendency as the jocular BUM

amorous favours copulation
Usually granted by a female rather than a
male, but not always:
It had become embarrassingly and
sickeningly plain that the fickle Kim was
bestowing amorous favours simultaneously
on Melinda. (Boyle, 1979—Kim was the
traitor Philby and Melinda the wife of his
fellow traitor, Maclean)
For amorous sport, see SPORT (THE).
He who displays amorous propensities has lewd
I'll come no more behind your scenes,
David; for the silk stockings and white
bosoms of your actresses excite my
amorous propensities. (J. Boswell, 1791—
Dr Johnson was speaking to Garrick)
An amorous tie is a sexual commitment to
another person:
I have few friends and no 'amorous
ties'. I am alone and free. (I. Murdoch,
amour1 a sexual partner to whom you are
not married
Literally, love or affection, but now standard
amour(s)2 an act (or acts) of copulation
outside marriage
The act of love:

... the jolly athletic amour so obviously and
exquisitely enjoyed. (Styron, 1976)
Those women who live in apartments, and
maintain themselves by the product of
their vagrant amours. (Mayhew, 1862—but
not with hobos)
ample fat
Literally, wide and commodious, but only in
this sense of a woman:
.. .a generous figure. 'Ample', she used to
call it, or, an a kinder manner, 'my
Edwardian body'. (Bogarde, 1978)
amply endowed having large genitalia or
A synonym of WELL ENDOWED. If describing a

female, she is unlikely also to have a dowry, her
endowment, albeit large, being only physical:
Exceptionally good-looking, personable,
muscular athlete is available. Hot bottom
plus large endowment equals a good
time. {Sunday Telegraph, September 1989,
quoting an advertisement by a prostitute
to which Representative Frank
responded: the advertiser cannot
have been puffing because he later
appointed her as his personal aide in

amusement with prizes gambling
Amusing, we may assume, for the owner of
the automatic machines programmed to take
a percentage off those who put money into
AWP (Amusement with prizes) machines
are a feature of all Rank's gaming business.
(Annual Report of The Rank Organization
pic, March 1996)
amusing (of art) pornographic
Jargon from a milieu where overt vulgarity is
Pictures medium only, but some amusing.
('amusing' means 'erotic', doesn't it, in an
auctioneer's catalogue description).
(A. Clark, 1993)
angel dust an illegal narcotic or hallucinogenic drug
A heavenly feeling is sometimes induced:
And that shooting... wasn't just some kind
of angel dust. (Deighton, 1981)
Angel foam was at one time a name for
angel of the night a prostitute
With no halo:
The men appeared to be mostly elderly,
the women all young. 'Angels of the
night,' whispered the lieutenant. (Dodds,
angle with a silver hook obsolete to pretend to have caught a fish which you
have bought
Not the behaviour of a sportsman or
a gentleman. There followed some figurative use, to indicate willingness to accept a
Anglo-Saxon (of language) crude or
The supposition is that many obscenities in
English have that ancestry:
She was wildly aroused when Robbie
employed certain Anglo-Saxon words.
(Turow, 1999)
animal rights the attribution to selected
animals of human characteristics
The fanaticism of some in a cause which has
overtones of anthropomorphism can be distasteful to many who also abhor cruelty to
A gaunt, fearless woman with piercing
eyes, now aged 50, and an animal-rights
vegan to boot. (Evans-Pritchard, 1997)
annex to conquer and occupy
Literally, to attach:
Nobo had been severely injured in a
bombing outside Seoul in 1910, at the time

anoint a palm | apartheid
Korea was being annexed to Japan. (Golden,
anoint a palm see PALM I
anointed Irish expected to die soon
It refers to the practice of so treating the
bodies of mortally ill Roman Catholics:
... sure there isn't a winter since her
daughter went to America that she wasn't
anointed a couple of times. I'm thinkin' the
people th' other side o' death will be
throuncin' her for keepin' them waitin' on
her this way. (Somerville and Ross, 1894)
anorak an enthusiast for an unintellectual pastime
Thought boring by those who use the word
and may think themselves superior and avantgarde. The usage comes from the article of
clothing favoured by those who take their
pleasures in the open:
For years people have been going round
doing the wally voice for anoraks or
trainspotters—and when a politician
comes along with a similar voice we elect
him prime minister. (Guardian, 1 October
1994—writing about John Major)
another state (in a) dead
Not on a day trip to France:
They are in another, and a higher, state of
existence. (J. Boswell, 1785)

himself up as anti-Arian, and millions since
have repeated his doctrinal niceties each
Sunday. Many of us are anti-fascist but not
The anti-fascist protection barrier is
particularly deep and formidable where
the railway crosses the Alexander Ufer.
(Deighton, 1988—most of us called it the
'Berlin Wall')
anti-freeze a spirituous intoxicant
Some humorous use, because it may warm
you in cold weather.
anti-personnel designed to kill or maim
It could mean no more than opposed to
'Anti-personnel weapon' is a
sophisticated euphemism for 'killer
weapon'. (Pei, 1969)
antisocial criminal or offensive
Literally, reclusive or self-centred:
... he was 'jointed' for his 'anti-social
behaviour', the IRA's euphemism for petty
crime. [Sunday Telegraph, January 1990—
jointed means shot in the knees or ankles)
Also used to describe those opposed to
autocracy, who are criminal in the eyes of
the autocrat:
'Anti-social elements are there,' said the IG,
patting his carbine again. (Dalrymple,
1998—an 'IG' is an Inspector-General of
An anti-social noise is a fart:

Anschluss a military conquest
Literally, the German word means connection. This was how Germany described its
occupation of Austria in 1938, becoming a
euphemism in both German and English:
After justifying the Anschluss of
Austria... he denied that he had broken
the Munich agreement by occupying
Prague. (Kee, 1984, reporting Hitler's
speech of 28 April 1939)
answer the call1 to die
Usually of those killed in war, called to arms
and then, it might be hoped, to life eternal.
answer the call2 to urinate
In this case, answering a CALL OF NATURE:
... was answering an urgent call behind
bushes when they stopped close by.
(Cookson, 1967)
anti- avoiding a statement of your allegiance
When the cause being promoted is likely to
have few adherents, you declare yourself to be
against something which sensible, well-meaning, or gullible persons are likely to abhor.
Thus in the 5th century, Athanasius set

'And he accused me of making anti-social
noises.'... Then, as though to
demonstrate, he emitted a precise fart.
(L Thomas, 1994)
anticipating American pregnant
Another way of saying EXPECTANT.
antlers an indication of cuckoldry
Formerly given as a pair, to be worn by the
Oh, there is many a fine lady of the ton as
gives 'er wedded lord a pair of hantlers.
(Fraser, 1997, using cockney speech)
antrum (amoris) the anus
Homosexual use and usage. An antrum is a
cave or grotto:
... or perhaps it would be the other way
round, the mature man busy with the
young man's antrum. (Pérez-Réverté, 1994,
in translation)
... the golden sceptre, erect and ready to be
tempered in the antrum amoris of his
mature companion, (ibid.)
apartheid the suppression
people by white



ape I apron-string-hold
Literally, separate development, but practised
in South Africa a century after the United
States declared that its black citizens should
be separate but equal, which also meant
separate but unequal.
ape mainly American mad
Usually of a temporary condition, from the
supposed simian behaviour:
Victor had something Jake will never have.
It drove him ape. (Sanders, 1977)
appendage the penis
Literally, something attached or hung on:
... her mean little hand ready to perform
its spiritless operation on my equally jaded
appendage. (Styron, 1976—it can't have
been that jaded)
appetites an obsession with sex
In the singular, an appetite is a craving for
anything, normally for food:
... consigned to an early grave by his wife's
various appetites. (Sharpe, 1974)
apple-polish American to seek favour or
advancement by flattery
You rub the skins to make them look more
Why try to apple-polish the dinge
downstairs? (Chandler, 1939—dinge was an
offensive term for a black person)
Whence an apple-polisher, who so behaves:
... he thought Cutter was a shallow,
self-serving apple-polisher with
delusions of grandeur. (Clancy, 1989)
apples obsolete the testicles
Victorian humour or exaggeration:
By this piece of boldness, with its French
phrase and its sexual innuendo about
apples (Victorian slang for testicles), Vivian
springs to life. (Ashton, 1991, quoting an
article written by G. H. Lewes on 13 April
appliance an item of medical equipment
worn on the body
Literally, anything which is applied for a
specific purpose. A shortening of surgical
appliance, which might describe a scalpel. An
appliance may be a truss, a hearing aid, a
wooden leg, or anything else you don't want
to be precise about—but not spectacles.
apportion to allocate components of a
purchase price in a single transaction
so as to evade tax
There is a narrow and ill-defined line between
tax evasion (which is illegal) and tax avoidance (which isn't):
If... he officially paid a lower price which
was beneath the higher rate threshold, and

made up the difference by appearing to
buy 'fixtures and fittings' for cash, then
he would have been guilty of
'apportioning'. (Daily Telegraph, 17
August 1999, reporting on the British
minister Peter Mandelson's dealings in
real estate)
appropriate1 to steal
Originally, it meant to take for your own use,
without any taint of impropriety:
All old mali had actually done, though, was
appropriate his half share of what he had
hoed and sweated to grow. (P. Scott, 1977—
the mali, or gardener, had been dismissed
for theft)
appropriate2 in line with your dogmatic
Appropriate and appropriately are described (by
R. Harris, 1992) as 'the favourite words in the
bureaucrat's lexicon, the grease for sliding
round unpleasantness, the funk-hole for
avoiding specifics'. They are also beloved by

Freedom of speech is still guaranteed by
the Constitution, but it can be exercised
only so long as it is 'appropriate'.
(A. Waugh in Daily Telegraph,

13 August 1994, commenting on the
refusal of an American publisher to
publish writings by the Pope because
they were considered anti-feminine)
and also beloved by tyrants:
In the House of Assembly, Harare's
Commons, [Ushekowokunza, Home Affairs
Minister] called it 'appropriate technology',
a euphemism for electric shock
treatment that drew appreciative nods
from his colleagues. (Daily Telegraph,
September 1983, reporting on the
torture of white officers in the Zimbabwe
air force)
approved school British a penal institution for children
The approval was by the Home Office as being
suitable for the incarceration of young criminals. You would be wrong to assume that
educational establishments not so described
lacked the blessing of society.
apron-string-hold obsolete the occupation by a man of his wife's property
The use satirized English and Welsh land
tenure—freehold, leasehold, or copyhold.
It also indicates what people thought of a
man who lived off the estate of his wife,
whose property by law vested in him on
marriage, either beneficially or during her
A man being possessed of a house and large
orchard by apron-string-hold, felled almost

ardent spirits | art
all his fruit trees, because he expected the
death of his sick wife. (Ellis, 1750)
ardent spirits spirituous intoxicants
Referring to the burning of the throat, not
from the DUTCH COURAGE which may follow:

He had committed the sin of lust, he had
drunk ardent spirits. (B. Cornwell, 1993)
Arkansas toothpick obsolete a dagger
This is a sample entry, many weapons being
given geographical attributions, either mocking the uncouthness of the local inhabitants
or applauding their manliness:
... the Kentucky abolitionist Cassius
Marcellus Clay, wearing 'three pistols and
an Arkansas tooth pick'. (G. C. Ward, 1990,
quoting an 1862 source)

Used to describe preparing accounts or reports in a misleading manner; bribing or
coercing officials; obtaining an unfair preference; or castrating domestic cats:
You always ought to have torn cats
arranged, you know—it makes 'em more
companionable. (Noel Coward—reported
To arrange yourself is to put your clothing back
to normal after a taboo activity, such as
urination or extramarital copulation:
She was... arranging herself. She seemed a
bit dazed. She whacked her shoulder on
the bedroom door, trying to squeeze by
him. (Anonymous, 1996)
An arrangement is what ensues, including a pot
for urine in a bedroom, a bribe, a settlement
with your creditors (or Deed of Arrangement),
regular extramarital sexual activity, etc.:
The majority of diplomats and
businessmen away from home for long
periods made 'arrangem