[Ads-l] GDoS Online

Jonathon Green jgslang at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 7 06:41:29 UTC 2016

[The following has been distributed as a press release. ADS members are
requested to forgive statements of the obvious]

*Green’**s Dictionary of Slang** Online* will be launched on October 12
2016 at https://greensdictofslang.com/

*GDoS* Online represents a digital development of the original print
edition of *Green’**s Dictionary of Slang* (*GDoS*) which appeared in 2010
(2011 in the US). Its three volumes offered c.53,000 headwords, in which
were nested 110,000 slang terms. These were supported by some 410,000
examples of usage. The book won America’s  Dartmouth Prize for the
outstanding non-fiction work of 2011 and was cited, among many positive
reviews, as ‘Quite simply the best historical dictionary of English slang
there is, ever has been ... or is ever likely to be’ (Julie Coleman, *Journal
of English Language and Linguistics*).

What was good can always become better. Print publication did not mean the
end of research. The internet provides the best possible platform for
reference and a slang dictionary is no exception. It also opens up a great
deal of once hard-to-access material: *GDoS *Online has benefited and the
information it offers has been vastly augmented by the appearance on line
of a growing number of newspaper databases. Both John Bartlett (of
*Americanisms*) and Sir James Murray (of the *OED*) noted that the press
offered the best place to find new language. The much-expanded presence of
newspaper citations, often the earliest on record, is a major feature of
*GDoS* Online.

Meanwhile the slang lexis continues to evolve and expand. The Internet, of
course, provides so many potential sources, whether historical or
contemporary. If the lexicographer’s problem was once where to look, it is
now in assessing at which point one dare stop looking.

Current figures show that the launch database stands at 54,500 main
headwords, comprising some 132,000 nested terms. The citation count is c.
650,000. The dictionary has increased in size since 2010 by some 59,000 new
citations found in 15,500 entries. Geographical depth has been expanded by
the reinstatement or addition of many more examples. In all, nearly 30% of
the print book has been revised, augmented and generally improved.

The dictionary will remain ‘live’ and research will continue. Rather than
being bound by the restrictions of print, it will offer a far wider range
of citations. The search for ‘first recorded uses’ will continue. Around
10,000 such antedatings have emerged since 2010. The expansion of
geographical spread will be pursued. Where once it was necessary for
reasons of space  to offer only a single cite per decade, thus excluding
much material, the aim is now to show as wide as possible number of
examples from across the Anglophone world. The original printed entries
will also be expanded, both historically — through the search for
earlier ‘first
uses’ but also through the addition of hitherto un-recorded words and
phrases — and in the adding of new, contemporary material.

As opposed to a print dictionary, *GDoS* Online will be fully searchable,
whether for definitions, etymologies, authors, titles, first uses, a
variety of usage labels and more. Those who wish to know how many words
James Joyce used for sexual intercourse or Charles Dickens for drunk will
find their answers. And whether any came from Yiddish. There is a detailed
bibliography and further tools are due to be added.

While these are rough estimates only, the dictionary breaks down into the
following major themes and categories; the order is based on frequency of

Crime and Criminals 5012; Drink, Drinking and Drunks 4589; Drugs 3976;
Money 3342; Women (almost invariably considered negatively or at best
sexually) 2968; Fools and Foolish 2403; Men (of various descriptions, not
invariably, but often self-aggrandizing) 2183; Sexual Intercourse 1740;
Penis: 1351; Homosexuals/-ity 1238; Prostitute/-ion 1185; Vagina 1180;
Policeman / Policing 1034; Terms of Racial or National Abuse: 1000;
Masturbate/-ion 945; Die, Death, Dead 831; Beat or Hit 728; Mad 776; Anus
or Buttocks 634; Defecate/-ion & Urinate/-ion 540; Kill or Murder 521;
Promiscuous / Promiscuity 347; Unattractive 279; Fat 247; Oral Sex 240;
Vomiting 219; Anal Sex 180; STDs 65.

All of this will be represented in the launch version of *GDoS*Online, and
augmented by regular updates, initially on a quarterly basis.


*GDoS* Online will be available on two levels: those who wish only for a
headword, an etymology and a definition can access that information for
free (the material being the equivalent of the author’s non-cited
single-volume dictionaries). For those who wish to access the
ever-expanding range of citations (which include a timeline of their
development) and enjoy the full extent of search functions, we are charging
an annual subscription. This is currently set at £49.00 ($60.00) for single
users, £10.00 ($12.50) for students. Prices are available on enquiry for
institutional subscriptions.

Jonathon Green [lexicographer]

​jg at greensdictofslang.com

David Kendal [programmer]

​dpk at greensdictofslang.com


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

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