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Dewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers: A Decade-By-Decade Guide to the Vanishing Vocabulary of the 20th Century
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Dewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers: A Decade-By-Decade Guide to the Vanishing Vocabulary of the 20th Century

3.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  34 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Every era of the twentieth century from the "Roaring Twenties" to the "Me Decade" brought its own fads and trends and the language to go with them: fresh youth slang, up-to-the-minute buzzwords, and colorful catch phrases. Most of this new vocabulary exploded into the vernacular, only to fizzle a few years later as newer trends and more current events demanded their own te ...more
Paperback, 239 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Dec 18, 2007 Tracey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Each decade is covered in a general historical overview, with the slang words bolded. Then topics of interest to the decade are discussed, with the pertinent slang explained. For example, in the first chapter (actually covering 2 decades: 1900-1919) automobiles and motion pictures are two of the topics that spawned a large number of slang terms. Sidebars present additional historical information, and occasional pictures spice up the text.

I found this book very similar to Flappers 2 Rappers: Amer
Jul 05, 2014 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014
This was so much fun to read! If only my high school history textbooks had been in this format - lists of words and expressions representative of the culture (and sub-cultures) of a given time in (mostly) the U.S.
Sep 06, 2015 Roderick rated it liked it
Decade-b-decade information about slang, popular culture and events of the 20th century. Notable lists of words, phrases, etc. which have seeped into common usage.
Mar 16, 2015 Rhonda rated it really liked it
This was not a read every page book but a jump around and remember... and then to read and realize where words and phrases we use and hear daily have come from in our lives...
Good book on language and popular culture of the 20th century. Organized by decade, there's an introductory essay for each chapter and then word or phrase lists organized by topic. The only problem is that there's so much here that it's hard to hold onto what I've read. It was especially interesting to read the sections on decades I've lived through and see all the things I knew about and those I missed.
Aug 03, 2008 David rated it really liked it
A decade-by-decade guide to the vanishing vocabulary of the 20th century.

I'm a sucker for this kind of book to begin with, but Rosemarie Ostler does a fine job with this one. Organized by decade, it's fun to dip into. Or to read straight through, which is what I did.
Dec 04, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it
a microcosm of the evolution of language. each decade has hundreds of unique phrases and slang. some of them are with us today, some died out. i can't wait for the sequel to catalogue the next 50 years!
This book married my three academic loves of language, history, and popular culture. It's more of a reference book, but it got me brainstorming a slew of new ideas for writing projects. I loved it!
Sep 25, 2010 DixieJo rated it liked it
a fun pick-a-page / glance at random information, dinner conversation with boys, etc. kind of book.
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Rosemarie Ostler, a linguist and former librarian, writes books and articles about language, especially American slang, grammar, and linguistic history. She loves exploring the rich history of American language use.

Rosemarie's articles have appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Whole Earth, Christian Science Monitor, Verbatim,, and History News Network, among other places. She

More about Rosemarie Ostler...

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