"slang" antedated (?) to 1753

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun Jan 8 16:47:01 UTC 2012

Stephen's find is very interesting, but perhaps he is not looking at Green's Dictionary of Slang in assessing this citation.  GDoS has citations for _slang_ 'line of work, occupation' back to 1741, and for _slang_ 'nonsense, rubbish' back to 1747.  The 1753 discovery may be in the sense 'nonsense, rubbish.'

Fred Shapiro

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Stephen Goranson [goranson at DUKE.EDU]
Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2012 10:47 AM
Subject: Re: "slang" antedated (?) to 1753

Does the following antedated use suggest clues to the etymology of "slang"?
{No attempt to mark the three different typefaces:]

"I don't know (says a Printer's Devil mingled with the Croud) you may talk of your Curls,
and I know not who; but for vamping, patching, puffing, parading and scurrility, and Slang
(a cant word among those Gentry) I think there's none comes up to the Carman before us."

From: Stephen Goranson
Sent: Sunday, January 01, 2012 11:51 AM
Subject: "slang" antedated (?) to 1753

Google Books give erroneous bibliographic data for the following (page lxxxv):


Here's a Worldcat listing:

The lives and characters of the most eminent actors and actresses of Great Britain and Ireland, from Shakespear to the present time.
Interspersed with a general history of the stage. By Mr. Theophilus Cibber. Part I. To which is prefixed, familiar epistle from Mr. Theophilus Cibber to Mr. William Warburton.

Theophilus Cibber

English (xcix, [1], xiv, 89, [1] p.)
London : [P]rinted for R. Griffiths, in St. Paul's Church-yard,

Stephen Goranson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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