Wednesday, February 02, 2011

CABOB: "a loin of mutton roasted with an onyon betwixt each joint"

At the TLS, James Sharpe on Jonathan Green's dictionary of slang and one of its early precursors:
Slang relating to sex, of course, figures prominently. Taking a non-exhaustive list from the first two letters of the alphabet, we find the penis being referred to as Aaron’s rod, Adam’s arsenal, arse-wedge, augur, bacon bazooka, bald-headed bastard, and bayonet.
Alas, there is not yet a copy of Green's Dictionary of Slang in the Columbia library system, I suppose it is not yet actually released in the U.S. - I will have to console myself with The A-Z of Nuclear Jargon for now...

(Really I want my own copy!)


  1. Have you read Green's earlier slang dictionaries? Are they enjoyable?

    Some of these issues made me think of that recent Michael Wood article about Carroll/Joyce -- esp. Croydon facelifts are a little like borogoves and the "arbitrariness of the sign." I was also reminded of an old Craig Raine essay about swearing and translation,

  2. I am very skeptical of these slang lists - unless he has documented usage? I reviewed a book about breasts once, that had about two pages of breast references, and many of them were highly implausible. "Bacon bazooka"? Really?

  3. The book is coming out in the US on Valentine's Day. It is currently on offer at at a bargain price; I don't know what plan.

    @Becca: It is is, like the OED, 'on historical principles'. Thus the 110,000 entries are underpinned by 415,000 usage citations, culled from a database of c. 575,000.


  4. Jonathan Green is blogging at The Dabbler, "a multi-contributor culture blog":

  5. Sorry, that should be Jonathon Green.