Monday, December 30, 2013

Horrors: Researching Slang

Just a short one today as we're in that magical time between Christmas and New Years. I'm planning on including a one-page glossary (including terms like ARP and Wermacht) and a single page full of common slang. Now rather than go do something silly like rely on web-sites (who knows what sources they used?) or autobiographies (their language doubtlessly had been updated over the years), I've bought a subscription to several UK newspaper archives from the era and have been taking a look at British movies of the era. Yes, both of them may not necessarily use the most common slang but, let's face it, the United Kingdom is so diverse that there's doubtless a dozen different sub-sets of slang.

It's funny, though, how much slang hearkens back to yesteryear. Terms like 'cool' were occasionally used and you could certainly find terms like feminist, chauvinist, and mysoginist, which one might expect would have sprung forth from a later era.

There's also plenty of so-called American slang alive and well in Britain at the time, which makes sense considering Hollywood's movies and comics were spreading their slang about. Some of it caught on. Plenty of it didn't.

Anywho, that's my post for the day. More a random thought than anything deep and meaningful.

Hope you had a Merry Summer Holiday and will have a Happy New Year!


  1. Ooh, fun stuff! There's a couple of books on military slang out there, like this and this. Wartime adventure stories can also be a good source, although some are more accurate than others depending on the author. This uni-based page lists some 1930s American slang with sources. There are also books about slang by era, although tracking one down might be a pain - examples here.