Article published in:The Evolution of Englishes: The Dynamic Model and beyond
Edited by Sarah Buschfeld, Thomas Hoffmann, Magnus Huber and Alexander Kautzsch
[Varieties of English Around the World G49] 2014
► pp. 470–485
The language of butchery, the UK’s last public craft
Drawing on survey material from the 1970s, supplemented by present-day observations, this chapter sets out some core matters of the language used by butchers, and goes on to elaborate on three disparate matters of general linguistic concern. It takes a language-historical issue concerning English and French etymologies beyond the basic level at which it is customarily considered. It highlights lexicographic shortcomings as regards the treatment of semi-technical vocabulary. And it explains in some detail a little-known variety of slang, especially connected to butchers but not solely their preserve. The linguistic space inhabited by butchers emerges as both particular to them and relevant on a wider stage.
Keywords: back-slang, butchers, craft, etymology, history, identity, lexicography, technical, vocabulary
Published online: 12 September 2014
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