The Insult Dictionary Reviewed By Conny Crisalli of
Conny Withay

Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader and volunteers with the elderly playing her designed The Write Word Game. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

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By Conny Withay
Published on May 11, 2013

Author: Julie Tibbott
Publisher: Reader’s Digest
ISBN: 978-1-62145-066-5

Author: Julie Tibbott
Publisher: Reader’s Digest
ISBN: 978-1-62145-066-5

Are you tired of today’s lackadaisical lingo? Try slipping some vintage slang into your vocabulary. Since the beginning of language, there has been slang – informal words and phrases utilized by certain cultural groups to show they’re in the know,” Julie Tibbott introduces in her book, The Insult Dictionary – History’s Best Slights, Street Talk and Slang.

This one hundred and seventy-five page hardbound book is eight inches square but packs plenty of information about eclectic words in the English language down through the centuries. Targeted toward individuals who are bored with normal societies’ vocabularies and looking for new words and expressions, it is a gives an overview and history of slang, phrases and historical background. Although there are some crude, lewd and off-beat topics, it would be geared toward teenager and adult age groups with some of its comical, outrageous and silly explanations.

After an one page introduction, there are nine chapters that cover chronological dictionaries starting with the Greeks and Romans to the Middle Ages, the New World, the Wild West, the Victorian Era, through the Jazz Age, the Depression and Cold War, ending with current day pop culture. Ranging from twelve to twenty-eight pages, each chapter also includes several side bars of stories, topics, and lists of words relating to the era’s genre.

Here is just one sample from each chapter that lists the word in bold, its description and sometimes how it is used in a sentence:
   Ancient Appellations: Panacea – Minor Greek goddess of healing. Her name means “cure for all ailments.” – My grandmother thinks chicken soup is a panacea.
   Mockery from the Middle Ages: Atomy – noun, a tiny particle; a skeletal person – You’ve got to put weight on; you look like a bony little atomy.
   Colonial Cracks: Nickninny – noun, a simpleton - Noozed – noun, married or hanged – Mutton-monger – noun, a man addicted to sex - You’re a nickninny if you noozed to that mutton-munger.
   Wild West Words: Popskull – noun, moonshine – Rozzer – noun, police officer – Pokey – noun, jail – He sold his popskull to an undercover rozzer and got sent to the pokey.
   Victorian Venom: Tangle-monger – noun, liar – She never said a true word – what a tangle-monger.
   Jazz Age Jibes: Collar the jive – verb, to be in the know, hip – I haven’t been able to collar the jive since I turned forty.
   Depression-Era Digs: Flip your wig – verb, to lose control or yourself – Frail eel – noun, a pretty girl – He flipped his wig over that frail eel.
   Cold War Cuts: Crib – noun, one’s home – Copacetic – adjective, very satisfactory; excellent – I love your crib, it’s copacetic!
   Pop Culture Phrases: Salad dodger – noun, an obese person – Scarf – verb, to eat with great appetite and gusto – That salad dodger just scarfed all the cupcakes.

Besides the dictionaries, one can learn about Pompeii’s graffiti, medieval torture techniques, piracy and railroad terms, cockney rhyming slang, liquor and soldier lingo along with rock talk and digital abbreviations in the highlighted sidebars in each chapter.

The next time you want and need to say something to put someone in their place or sound more intelligent, pick up this book and use its myriad of odd, quirky and strange words to completely throw them off base!

This book was furnished by the publicist for review purposes.

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