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date: 28 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Although slang lexicography is more challenging than the lexicography of standard language, the democratic status of slang has encouraged a great many amateur and casual lexicographers to try their hand at it, with very mixed results. Popular and scholarly slang dictionaries should not be evaluated against the same criteria, however, because their purposes are often completely different. Slang lexicography offers particular challenges in definition, etymology, spelling, dating, labelling, locating, and evaluating evidence, and in the development of a consistent inclusions policy. First-hand knowledge of current slang usage does not often coincide with lexicographical skill, but the slang lexicographer needs to be able to lay claim to both. This chapter also addresses the practical and financial difficulties of slang lexicography, both in the traditional publishing market and in the face of competition online.

Keywords: slang, slang lexicography, slang dictionaries, non-standard English, online dictionaries, enregisterment

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