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A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Volume I1567-1784$

Julie Coleman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557097

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557097.001.0001

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(p.193) Appendix A

(p.193) Appendix A

Source:
A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Volume I
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

Because I discuss the dictionaries’ entries in numerical terms, it is important to explain what I have actually counted. All examples are taken from B. E.’s dictionary. The simplest contain just a headword and definition:

Altemall, altogether.

but sometimes more than one definition is provided:

Antidote, a very homely Woman, also a medicine against Poyson.

I have counted each definition as a separate entry: altemall contains one entry for one headword; antidote, two entries for one headword.

For some entries, B. E. indicates restricted usage:

Antient, at Sea, for Ensign, or Flag.

B. E.’s labels are normalized in my discussion of the contents of the lists: antient is treated as an entry marked as nautical/naval. For other entries, B. E. provides illustrative citations, including some proverbs:

Altitudes, the Man is in his Altitudes, he is Drunk.

Busy-bodies, Pryers into other Folks Concerns, such as thrust their Sickle in another’s other’s Harvest; and will have an Oar in every Boat. As busy as a Hen with one Chick, of one that has a great deal of business and nothing to do.

Altitudes contains one entry; busy-body two, because busy-body and ‘as busy as a hen with one chick’ are separately defined. Both contain citations, but the citation under busy-bodies is also counted as a proverb.

Sometimes separate definitions, compounds, phrases, and proverbial expressions are all muddled together under a single headword. Sometimes material that could have been contained under one headword is split across two or more. For example:

Jack, [1] c. a Farthing; [2] a small Bowl (the mark) to throw at, [3] an Instrument to draw on Boots, [4] hence Jack-boots; [5] also a Leathern Vessel to Drink out of, [6] and an Engine to set the Spit a going. [7] Jack in an Office, of one that behaves himself Imperiously in it. [8] Every Jack will have a Gill, or the Coursest He, will have as Coarse a She. He wou’d n’t tip me a Jack, c. not a Farthing wou’d he give me.

[9] Jack-adams, a Fool.

[10] Jack-a-dandy, a little impertinent insignificant Fellow.

[11] Jack latch, c. the Hang-man of that Name, [12] but now all his Successors.

[13] Jack in a box, c. a Sharper, or Cheat.

[14] Jackanapes, a Term of Reproach, a little sorry Whipper-snapper; [15] also a well known waggish Beast. As full of Tricks as a Jackanapes.

(p.194)

[16] Jack-sprat, a Dwarf, or very little Fellow, a Hop-on-my-thumb.

[17] Jack at a Pinch, a poor Hackney Parson.

[18] Jack-hawk, the Male.

Here there are nine headwords. There are five definitions for jack alone: “a farthing”, “a bowl”, “a shoe-horn”, “a drinking-vessel”, and “a mechanism that operates a spit”. One further “a man” is implied in the proverbial ‘Every Jack will have a Gill’. Ten compounds and phrases are listed. Two of these, Jack-boot, and Jack in an Office, are included under the main headword. Jack-adams, Jack-a-dandy, Jack Kitch, Jack in a box, Jackanapes, Jack-sprat, Jack at a pinch, and Jack-hawk are presented as separate headwords. Jack Kitch and Jack in a box each contain two entries. Neither citations nor definitions necessarily follow on from the term that they illustrate or define. For example, the citation ‘He wou’d n’t tip me a Jack’ illustrates the sense “a farthing”, but several definitions and citations intervene between the two. In all, there are eighteen entries, as indicated by the figures in parentheses.

Counting entries in this way allows me to make meaningful comparisons between dictionaries like B. E.’s, which have relatively few headwords, and those like the New Canting Dictionary, which tends to have more headwords, but do not always contain more material. For example, from B. E.’s nine headwords, the New Canting Dictionary derives the following eight. There are ten entries, as noted in parentheses:

  1. [1] JACK, a Farthing; He wou’d not tip me a Jack, Not a Farthing would he give me.

  2. [2] JACK-ADAMS, a Fool.

  3. [3] Jack Adam’s Parish, Clerkenwell.

  4. [4] JACK-A-DANDY, a little impertinent insignificant Fellow.

  5. [5] JACK-KETCH, the Hangman, once of that Name, [6] but now all his Successors.

  6. [6] JACK in a box, a Sharper, or Cheat.

  7. [7] JACKANAPES, a Term of Reproach, a little sorry Whipper-snapper.

  8. [8] JACK-sprat, a Dwarf, or very little Fellow, a Hop-on-my-thumb.

  9. [9] JACK at a Pinch, a poor Hackney Parson.

Thus, although the New Canting Dictionary has only one fewer headword than B. E., the reduction in the number of entries, from eighteen to ten, gives a far better indication of the dictionary’s abridgement of its source.

The database in which I noted the contents of all of the word-lists included here has two columns to cover meaning. As I went through the contents of the lists, I allocated each entry to one or two semantic fields. For example, cassan “cheese” belongs to FOOD, while skew “dish” is an ARTEFACT used for FOOD, the queer cuffin “a magistrate” is one whose WORK is in LAW, while queer cramprings “irons” are ARTEFACTS used in enforcing the LAW. Because some entries are included in more than one field, totals for semantic coverage of the dictionaries are higher than the number of entries included.

I have not distinguished between parts of speech, as Beier did in his analysis.1 My categorization is purely semantic, and comparison with Beier’s will be a useful (p.195) reminder of the subjectivity inherent in any such approach. While such analyses can only be impressionistic, I did apply the same criteria to each of the lists surveyed. The tables are, therefore, comparable with one another, making it possible to undertake statistical analysis of the relationships between dictionaries.

Table 2.1 An outline of the subject matter of the glossaries in Harman’s Caveat and Dekker’s Belman

Semantic area

Harman’s entries

Dekker’s entries

Crime & dishonesty

5 (3.8%)

4 (3.8%)

Artefacts

6 (4.5%)

5 (4.8%)

Natural world

7 (5.3%)

6 (5.8%)

Domestic life

8 (6.1%)

8 (7.7%)

Geography & travel

8 (6.1%)

8 (7.7%)

Speech

8 (6.1%)

5 (4.8%)

Animals

9 (6.8%)

4 (3.8%)

Law & order

10 (7.6%)

8 (7.7%)

Money

10 (7.6%)

10 (9.6%)

Clothes

11 (8.3%)

8 (7.7%)

Body & health

16 (12.1%)

11 (10.6%)

Food & drink

16 (12.1%)

12 (11.5%)

Other

18 (13.6%)

15 (14.4%)

Total

132

104

Table 2.2 An outline of the subject matter of S.R.’s word-list

Semantic area

Entries

Work

7 (4.8%)

Emotion

9 (6.1%)

Clothes

10 (6.8%)

Law & order

10 (6.8%)

Natural world

10 (6.8%)

Domestic life

11 (7.5%)

Food & drink

17 (11.6%)

Crime & dishonesty

18 (12.2%)

Money

19 (12.9%)

Body & health

21 (14.3%)

Other

15 (10.2%)

Total

147

(p.196)

Table 3.1 An outline of the subject matter of Richard Head’s English Rogue word-list

Semantic area

1665a

1665b

1672a

1688

Speech

4 (2.1%)

4 (1.8%)

4 (1.7%)

0 (0.0%)

Sex

5 (2.6%)

5 (2.3%)

5 (2.2%)

0 (0.0%)

Poverty

5 (2.6%)

5 (2.3%)

5 (2.2%)

2 (3.4%)

Artefacts

8 (4.2%)

8 (3.6%)

9 (3.9%)

4 (6.9%)

Natural world

8 (4.2%)

8 (3.6%)

8 (3.5%)

1 (1.7%)

People

9 (4.8%)

9 (4.1%)

9 (3.9%)

2 (3.4%)

Emotion & temperament

9 (4.8%)

12 (5.4%)

12 (5.2%)

1 (1.7%)

Animals

10 (5.3%)

10 (4.5%)

10 (4.4%)

5 (8.6%)

Domestic life

10 (5.3%)

11 (5.0%)

11 (4.8%)

4 (6.9%)

Law & order

12 (6.3%)

12 (5.4%)

12 (5.2%)

6 (10.3%)

Food & drink

12 (6.3%)

12 (5.4%)

13 (5.7%)

3 (5.2%)

Geography & travel

12 (6.3%)

13 (5.9%)

13 (5.7%)

1 (1.7%)

Clothes

12 (6.3%)

19 (8.6%)

19 (8.3%)

3 (5.2%)

Money

15 (7.9%)

17 (7.7%)

18 (7.9%)

12 (20.7%)

Grime & dishonesty

19 (10.1%)

36 (16.2%)

37 (16.2%)

12 (20.7%)

Body & health

23 (12.2%)

24 (10.8%)

24 (10.5%)

2 (3.4%)

Other

16 (8.5%)

17 (7.7%)

20 (8.7%)

0 (0.0%)

Total

189

222

229

58

Table 3.2 An outline of the subject matter of the Canting Academy lists

Semantic area

Cant–English

English–Cant

Speech

5 (1.5%)

4 (1.5%)

Natural world

7 (2.1%)

5 (1.9%)

People

7 (2.1%)

6 (2.2%)

War & violence

7 (2.1%)

4 (1.5%)

Poverty

8 (2.5%)

6 (2.2%)

Animals

13 (4.0%)

11 (4.1%)

Emotion & temperament

17 (5.2%)

12 (4.4%)

Clothes

18 (5.5%)

16 (5.9%)

Work

18 (5.5%)

13 (4.8%)

Artefacts

19 (5.8%)

16 (5.9%)

Domestic life

20 (6.1%)

16 (5.9%)

Geography & travel

20 (6.1%)

18 (6.7%)

Money

25 (7.7%)

22 (8.1%)

Eaw & order

25 (7.7%)

18 (6.7%)

Food & drink

28 (8.6%)

24 (8.9%)

Body & health

33 (10.1%)

31 (11.5%)

Crime & dishonesty

39 (12.0%)

34 (12.6%)

Other

17 (5.2%)

14 (5.2%)

Total

326

270

(p.197)

Table 4.1 Lexicographic features in B. E.’s dictionary

 

Entries

Citations

Etymologies

Cross-references

Proverbs

Usage labels

A

77

8 (10.4%)a

1 (1.3%)

0 (0.0%)

1 (1.3%)

20 (26.0%)

B

405

22 (5.4%)

5 (1.2%)

9 (2.2%)

22 (5.4%)

111 (27.4%)

C

489

31 (6.3%)

22 (4.5%)

7 (1.4%)

37 (7.6%)

104 (21.3%)

D

170

18 (10.6%)

3 (1.8%)

1 (0.6%)

12 (7.1%)

46 (27.1%)

E

57

3 (5.3%)

1 (1.8%)

0 (0.0%)

13 (22.8%)

6 (10.5%)

F

283

26 (9.2%)

6 (2.1%)

2 (0.7%)

23 (8.1%)

61 (21.6%)

G

180

22 (12.2%)

4 (2.2%)

4 (2.2%)

11 (6.1%)

43 (23.9%)

H

262

8 (3.1%)

8 (3.1%)

7 (2.7%)

32 (12.2%)

26 (9.9%)

I&J

116

9 (7.8%)

5 (4.3%)

1 (0.9%)

10 (8.6%)

16 (13.8%)

K

54

7 (13.0%)

1 (1.9%)

2 (3.7%)

10 (18.5%)

19 (35.2%)

L

129

10 (7.8%)

3 (2.3%)

4 (3.1%)

14 (10.9%)

28 (21.7%)

M

182

19 (10.4%)

6 (3.3%)

0 (0.0%)

15 (8.2%)

39 (21.4%)

N

120

14 (11.7%)

0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

11 (9.2%)

44 (36.7%)

O

48

2 (4.2%)

0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

9 (18.8%)

6 (12.5%)

P

335

23 (6.9%)

5 (1.5%)

2 (0.6%)

19 (5.7%)

56 (16.7%)

Q

64

7 (10.9%)

0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

36 (56.3%)

R

262

18 (6.9%)

1 (0.4%)

7 (2.7%)

13 (5.0%)

100 (38.2%)

S

412

47 (11.4%)

6 (1.5%)

3 (0.7%)

18 (4.4%)

108 (26.2%)

T

220

35 (15.9%)

2 (0.9%)

6 (2.7%)

9 (4.1%)

49 (22.3%)

U&V

50

5 (10.0%)

0 (0.0%)

2 (4.0%)

0 (0.0%)

11 (22.0%)

W

123

21 (17.1%)

0 (0.0%)

2 (1.6%)

3 (2.4%)

38 (30.9%)

x–z

14

0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

1 (7.1%)

2 (14.3%)

Total

4,052

355 (8.8%)

79 (1.9%)

59 (1.5%)

283 (7.0%)

969 (23.9%)

(a) Percentage of entries in ‘A’ that include citations (etc.)

(p.198)

Table 4.2 B. E.’s dictionary compared with Elisha Coles’s English Dictionary

 

Actual entries in B. E.’s dictionary

Estimated entries in Coles’s Dictionary

Expected entries in B. E.’s dictionary

% of expected entries

A

77

2173

277

(28%)a

B

405

706

90

(450%)

C

489

3514

447

(109%)

D

170

1268

161

(106%)

E

57

1503

191

(30%)

F

283

1358

173

(164%)

G

180

1159

148

(122%)

H

262

1521

194

(135%)

I&J

116

2101

267

(43%)

K

54

471

60

(90%)

L

129

1739

221

(58%)

M

182

2536

323

(56%)

N

120

688

88

(136%)

O

48

844

107

(45%)

P

335

2753

350

(96%)

Q

64

290

37

(173%)

R

262

1268

161

(163%)

S

412

2789

355

(116%)

T

220

1467

187

(118%)

U&V

50

851

108

(46%)

W

123

580

74

(166%)

X-Z

14

254

32

(44%)

Total

4,052

31,833

 

 

(a) These figures are reached (for A) as follows: 2 , 173 31 , 833 × 4,052 = 277 77 277 × 100 = 28%

(p.199)

Table 4.3 B. E.’s usage labels

Label

Number

As % of labels

As % of entries

Cant

916

94.5%

22.6%

Slang/jargon

21

2.2%

0.5%

Dialect

14

1.4%

0.3%

Archaic/dlated

7

0.7%

0.2%

Nautical/naval

7

0.7%

0.2%

Derogatory

2

0.2%

0.0%

Jocular

1

0.1%

0.0%

Poetic

1

0.1%

0.0%

Total

969

23.9%)

 

(p.200)

Table 4.4 An outline of the subject matter of B. E.-group dictionaries

Semantic area

B.E. (c.1698)

Smith

New Canting Dictionary

B.E. (1813)

Looks

138 (2.5%)

3 (0.8%)

85 (2.4%)

61 (2.9%)

Sex

142 (2.6%)

14 (3.7%)

177 (5.0%)

35 (1.6%)

Poverty

144 (2.6%)

13 (3.5%)

143 (4.1%)

65 (3.1%)

Fools & victims

147 (2.7%)

9 (2.4%)

101 (2.9%)

82 (3.9%)

Law & order

152 (2.8%)

28 (7.5%)

148 (4.2%)

73 (3.4%)

Artefacts

155 (2.9%)

18 (4.8%)

106 (3.0%)

42 (2.0%)

War & violence

166 (3.1%)

20 (5.3%

108 (3.1%)

67 (3.2%)

Clothes

199 (3.7%)

23 (6.1%

135 (3.8%)

71 (3.3%)

Domestic life

205 (3.8%)

15 (4.0%)

122 (3.5%)

96 (4.5%)

Geography & travel

212 (3.9%)

21 (5.6%)

92 (2.6%)

73 (3.4%)

Body & health

221 (4.1%)

23 (6.1%)

174 (4.9%)

82 (3.9%)

Work

237 (4.4%)

16 (4.3%)

273 (7.8%)

117 (5.5%)

Speech

238 (4.4%)

15 (4.0%)

146 (4.1%)

142 (6.7%)

Pleasure & pastimes

277 (5.1%)

3 (0.8%)

151 (4.3%)

97 (4.6%)

Animals

283 (5.2%)

6 (1.6%)

74 (2.1%)

66 (3.1%)

Money

366 (6.7%)

39 (10.4%)

236 (6.7%)

125 (5.9%)

Food & drink

377 (6.9%)

21 (5.6%)

235 (6.7%)

106 (5.0%)

Crime & dishonesty

427 (7.9%)

74 (19.7%)

437 (12.4%)

178 (8.4%)

Emotion & temperament

515 (9.5%)

11 (2.9%)

230 (6.5%)

325 (15.3%)

Other

833 (15.3%)

3 (o.8%)

347 (9.9%)

221 (10.4%)

Total

5,434

375

3,520

2,124

Table 4.5 Lexicographic features in B. E.-group dictionaries

 

B.E. (c.1698)

Smith (1719)

New Canting (1725)

B.E. (1813)

Citations

355 (8.7%)

90(31.5%)

160(6.1%)

55 (3.3%)

Etymologies

79 (1.9%)

5 (1.7%)

52 (2.0%)

9(0.5%)

Cross-references

59 (1.5%)

0 (0.0%)

75 (2.9%)

4(0.2%)

Usage labels

969 (23.9%)

1 (0.3%)

20 (0.8%)

3 (0.2%)

(p.201)

Table 5.1 An outline of the subject matter of some early Carew word-lists

Semantic area

1750

1812

1845

1871

Pleasure & pastimes

5 (1.1%)

13 (2.1%)

14 (2.2%)

8 (2.0%)

Looks

7 (1.6%)

8 (1.3%)

8 (1.3%)

2 (0.5%)

Sex

7 (1.6%)

6 (1.0%)

4 (o.6%)

1 (0.3%)

Fools & victims

8 (1.8%)

10 (1.7%)

11 (1.7%)

5 (1.3%)

Speech

9 (2.1%)

14 (2.3%)

15 (2.4%)

20 (5.1%)

War & violence

11 (2.5%)

18 (3.0%)

17 (2.7%)

5 (1.3%)

Emotion & temperament

12 (2.7%)

13 (2.1%)

19 (3.0%)

33 (8.4%)

Natural world

13 (3.0%)

14 (2.3%)

13 (2.0%)

5 (1.3%)

Poverty

13 (3.0%)

23 (3.8%)

23 (3.6%)

21 (5.4%)

Animals

14 (3.2%)

15 (2.5%)

14 (2.2%)

6 (1.5%)

Crime & dishonesty

15 (3.4%)

43 (7.1%)

52 (8.2%)

73 (18.7%)

Geography & travel

17 (3.9%)

24 (4.0%)

23 (3.6%)

13 (3.3%)

People

21 (4.8%)

34 (5.6%)

36 (5.7%)

19 (4.9%)

Domestic life

22 (5.0%)

29 (4.8%)

30 (4.7%)

17 (4.3%)

Food & drink

30 (6.8%)

39 (6.4%)

44 (6.9%)

16 (4.1%)

Clothes

31 (7.1%)

38 (6.3%)

42 (6.6%)

15 (3.8%)

Artefacts

34 (7.7%)

43 (7.1%)

40 (6.3%)

13 (3.3%)

Body & health

35 (8.o%)

46 (7.6%)

48 (7.6%)

21 (5.4%)

Law & order

40 (9.1%)

52 (8.6%)

50 (7.9%)

14 (3.6%)

Money

44 (1o.o%)

50 (8.3%)

59 (9.3%)

42 (10.7%)

Work

46 (10.5%)

62 (10.2%)

61 (9.6%)

21 (5.4%)

Other

5 (1.1%)

11 (1.8%)

12 (1.9%)

21 (5.4%)

Total

439

605

635

391

(p.202)

Table 5.2 An outline of the subject matter of some later Carew word-lists

Semantic area

1810

1838

1871 Scottish list

Pleasure & pastimes

2 (2.4%)

2 (4.9%)

3 (1.7%)

Looks

1 (1.2%)

1 (2.4%)

0 (0.0%)

Sex

1 (1.2%)

0 (0.0%)

1 (0.6%)

Fools & victims

1 (1.2%)

0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

Speech

2 (2.4%)

1 (2.4%)

3 (1.7%)

War & violence

1 (1.2%)

1 (2.4%)

7 (4.1%)

Emotion & temperament

1 (1.2%)

1 (2.4%)

3 (1.7%)

Natural world

5 (6.1%)

2 (4.9%)

24 (14.0%)

Poverty

3 (3.7%)

1 (2.4%)

1 (0.6%)

Animals

1 (1.2%)

0 (0.0%)

10 (5.8%)

Crime & dishonesty

3 (3.7%)

3 (7.3%)

5 (2.9%)

Geography & travel

0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

7 (4.1%)

People

4 (4.9%)

1 (2.4%)

9 (5.2%)

Domestic life

3 (3.7%)

2 (4.9%)

13 (7.6%)

Food & drink

6 (7.3%)

3 (7.3%)

17 (9.9%)

Clothes

5 (6.1%)

3 (7.3%)

7 (4.1%)

Artefacts

10 (12.2%)

3 (7.3%)

16 (9.3%)

Body & health

12 (14.6%)

7 (17.1%)

14 (8.1%)

Law & order

8 (9.8%)

3 (7.3%)

2 (1.2%)

Money

6 (7.3%)

4 (9.8%)

12 (7.0%)

Work

6 (7.3%)

2 (4.9%)

7 (4.1%)

Other

1 (1.2%)

1 (2.4%)

11 (6.4%)

Total

82

41

172

Table 6.1 An outline of the subject matter of Robert Greene’s word-lists (excluding the word-list from Harman’s Caveat)

Semantic area

Entries

Food & drink

2 (1.6%)

Natural world

2 (1.6%)

Artefacts

5 (4.1%)

Emotion

6 (4.9%)

Fools & victims

6 (4.9%)

Sex

7 (5.7%)

Money

8 (6.5%)

Pleasure & pastimes

18 (14.6%)

Crime & dishonesty

65 (52.8%)

Other

4 (3.3%)

Total

123

(p.203)

Table 6.2 An outline of the subject matter of Thomas Shadwell’s word-list

Semantic area

Entries

Food & drink

3 (4.6%)

War & violence

3 (4.6%)

Clothes

4 (6.2%)

Emotion & temperament

4 (6.2%)

Artefacts

5 (7.7%)

Geography & travel

5 (7.7%)

Sex

7 (10.8%)

Crime & dishonesty

12 (18.5%)

Money

19 (29.2%)

Miscellaneous

3 (4.6%)

Total

65

Table 6.3 An outline of the subject matter of the Hell upon Earth word-list

Semantic area

Entries

Emotion & temperament

4 (2.7%)

Natural world

4 (2.7%)

Food & drink

5 (3.3%)

Work

8 (5.3%)

Crime & dishonesty

8 (5.3%)

Animals

10 (6.7%)

Domestic life

10 (6.7%)

Law & order

11 (7.3%)

Geography & travel

12 (8.0%)

Clothes

20 (13.3%)

Artefacts

21 (14.0%)

Money

23 (15.3%)

Other

14 (9.3%)

Total

150

(p.204)

Table 6.4 An outline of the subject matter of word-lists in G. L.’s Amorous Gallant’s Tongue

Semantic area

1710 & 1741

c.1742

Poverty

9 (4.8%)

9 (5.6%)

Sex

9 (4.8%)

3 (1.9%)

Animals

10 (5.4%)

9 (5.6%)

Clothes

10 (5.4%)

10 (6.2%)

Crime & dishonesty

10 (5.4%)

10 (6.2%)

Law & order

11 (5.9%)

7 (4.3%)

Work

11 (5.9%)

10 (6.2%)

Domestic life

14 (7.5%)

13 (8.1%)

Body & health

16 (8.6%)

31 (19.3%)

Food & drink

17 (9.1%)

8 (5.0%)

Money

28 (15.1%)

26 (16.1%)

Other

41 (22.0%)

25 (15.5%)

Total

186

161

Table 6.5 An outline of the subject matter of Charles Hitchin’s word-list

Semantic area

Entries

Body & health

4 (2.4%)

Food & drink

4 (2.4%)

Emotion & temperament

8 (4.9%)

War & violence

8 (4.9%)

Geography & travel

10 (6.1%)

Domestic life

10 (6.1%)

Money

13 (7.9%)

Artefacts

17 (10.4%)

Law & order

18 (11.0%)

Clothes

21 12.8%)

Crime & dishonesty

40 24.4%)

Other

11 (6.7%)

Total

164

(p.205)

Table 6.6 An outline of the subject matter of Daniel Defoe’s word-list

Semantic area

Entries

War & violence

4 (2.4%)

Poverty

4 (2.4%)

Speech

4 (2.4%)

Domestic life

5 (3.0%)

Natural world

5 (3.0%)

Emotion & temperament

6 (3.6%)

People

6 (3.6%)

Animals

7 (4.2%)

Body & health

7 (4.2%)

Artefacts

8 (4.8%)

Law & order

9 (5.4%)

Food & drink

11 (6.6%)

Clothes

15 (9.0%)

Money

15 (9.0%)

Work

16 (9.6%)

Crime & dishonesty

18 (10.8%)

Other

27 (16.2%)

Total

167

Table 6.7 An outline of the subject matter of James Dalton’s word-list

Semantic area

Entries

Sex

3(16.7%)

Crime & dishonesty

7 (38.9%)

Other

8 (44.4%)

Total

18

(p.206)

Table 6.8 An outline of the subject matter of the Moll King word-list

Semantic area

Entries

Law & order

3 (5.6%)

Domestic life

4 (7.4%)

Geography & travel

4 (7.4%)

Food & drink

5 (9.3%)

Body & health

6 (11.1%)

Crime & dishonesty

7 (13.0%)

Money

11 (20.4%)

Other

14 (25.9%)

Total

54

Table 6.9 An outline of the subject matter of the Poulter-group word-lists

Semantic area

Poulter

Whole Art

Constant Reader

Poverty

1 (0.6%)

2 (0.8%)

1 (1.3%)

Sex

1 (0.6%)

5 (2.0%)

0 (0.0%)

Food & drink

2 (1.3%)

5 (2.0%)

0 (0.0%)

Emotion & temperament

4 (2.6%)

10 (4.0%)

3 (3.9%)

Animals & nature

6 (3.9%)

8 (3.2%)

2 (2.6%)

Geography & travel

6 (3.9%)

9 (3.6%)

4 (5.2%)

Pleasure & pastimes

6 (3.9%)

7 (2.8%)

2 (2.6%)

Speech

6 (3.9%)

10 (4.0%)

1 (1.3%)

War & violence

8 (5.2%)

9 (3.6%)

4 (5.2%)

Work

9 (5.9%)

13 (5.2%)

8 (10.4%)

Body & health

10 (6.5%)

12 (4.8%)

3 (3.9%)

Clothes

10 (6.5%)

19 (7.6%)

1 (1.3%)

Domestic life

10 (6.5%)

13 (5.2%)

2 (2.6%)

Artefacts

11 (7.1%)

20 (8.0%)

4 (5.2%)

Money

12 (7.8%)

17 (6.8%)

2 (2.6%)

Law & order

20 (13.0%)

26 (10.4%)

15 (19.5%)

Crime & dishonesty

27 (17.5%)

58 (23.2%)

22 (28.6%)

Other

5 (3.2%)

7 (2.8%)

3 (3.9%)

Total

154

250

77

(p.207)

Table 7.1 An outline of the semantic coverage of Elisha Coles’s cant terms

Semantic area

Entries

War & violence

7 (2.5%)

Animals

12 (4.2%)

Emotion & temperament

12 (4.2%)

Work

15 (5.3%)

Domestic life

16 (5.6%)

Geography & travel

16 (5.6%)

Clothes

18 (6.3%)

Artefacts

20 (7.0%)

Law & order

22 (7.7%)

Food & drink

22 (7.7%)

Money

28 (9.8%)

Crime & dishonesty

35 (12.3%)

Body & health

38 (13.3%)

Other

24 (8.4%)

Total

285

(p.208)

Table 7.2 An outline of the semantic coverage of the cant terms in Nathan Bailey’s cant list

Semantic area

Entries

Pleasure & pastimes

54 (2.0%)

Looks

64 (2.3%)

Geography & travel

82 (3.0%)

Fools & victims

88 (3.2%)

Artefacts

96 (3.5%)

War & violence

101 (3.7%)

Speech

102 (3.7%)

Domestic life

112 (4.1%)

Poverty

124 (4.5%)

Clothes

127 (4.6%)

Work

127 (4.6%)

Law & order

131 (4.8%)

Body & health

145 (5.3%)

Sex

152 (5.5%)

Emotion & temperament

178 (6.5%)

Money

194 (7.1%)

Food & drink

197 (7.2%)

Crime & dishonesty

422 (15.4%)

Other

253 (9.2%)

Total

2,749

Notes:

(1) Beier, ‘Anti-Language or Jargon?’, 76–89.