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THE great Approbation, with which so polite a

nation as France has received the Satyrical and Burlesque Dictionary of Monsieur Le Roux, testified by the several editions it has gone through, will

, it is hoped, apologise for an attempt to compile an English Dictionary on a similar plan, our language being at least as copious as the French, and as capable of the witty equivoque, besides which, the freedom of thought and speech, arising from, and privileged by our constitution, gives a force and poignancy to the expressions of our common people, not to be found under arbitrary governments, where the ebullitions of vulgar wit are checked by the fear of the bastinado, or of a lodging during pleasure in some gaol or castle.

The many vulgar allusions and cant expressions that so frequently occur in our common conversation and periodical publications, make a work of this kind extremely useful, if not absolutely necessary, not only to foreigners, but even to natives resident at a distance from the metropolis, or who do not mix in the busy world; without some such help, they might hunt through all the ordinary Dictionaries, from Alpha to

a

1934.99

Omega, in search of the words, “ black legs, lame duck, a plumb, malingeror, nip cheese, darbies, and the new drop,” although these are all terms of wellknown import, at New-market, Exchange-alley, the City, the Parade, Wapping, and Newgate. The fashionable words, or favourite expressions of the day, also find their way into our political and theatrical compositions ; these, as they generally originate from some trifling event, or temporary circumstance, on falling into disuse, or being superseded by new ones, vanish without leaving a trace behind, such were the late fashionable words, a Bore and a Twaddle, among the great vulgar, Maccaroni and the Barber, among the small; these too are here carefully registered

The Vulgar Tongue consists of two parts; the first is the Cant Language, called sometimes Pedlar's French, or St. Giles's Greek; the second, those Burlesque Phrases, Quaint Allusions, and Nick-names for persons, things and places, which from long uninterrupted usage are made classical by prescription. Respecting the first, that is, the canting language, take the account given of it's origin, and the catastrophe of it's institutor, from Mr. Harrison's Description of England prefixed to Hollingshead's Chronicle; where, treating of beggars, gypsies, &c., he says, “It is not

yet fifty years sith this trade began, but how it hath

prospered sithens that time, it is easy to judge, for “they are now supposed of one sexe and another to “ amount unto above ten thousand persons, as I have “harde reported, moreover in counterfeiting the Egyp“ tian roges, they have devised a language among “themselves, which they name canting; but others

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