Dictionary of Cantonese Slang: The Language of Hong Kong Movies, Street Gangs and City Life
(7 customer reviews)
The publication of this dictionary locates the discussion of its subject, Cantonese slang, within the social, cultural, and political dynamics of Hong Kong society. The "slang" of the title refers to a wide range of Hong Kong vernacular Cantonese speech styles, notably the language of the underworld (a major source of innovation in late 20th–21st century speech), of teenagers, and of Hong Kong movies and comics.
The volume offers a general introduction to the history of "vernacular" and "vulgar" dictionaries, including the lexicography of Cantonese; the sociopolitical and linguistic background to Hong Kong; and the specific problems faced by the linguist as urban anthropologist in researching such issues. The Dictionary itself offers for the first time a survey of the commonest slang and colloquial phrases used in Hong Kong, including taboo language not hitherto found in any dictionary. It is Cantonese-English, arranged alphabetically according to a widely-used transcription system.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #2370231 in Books
- Published on:
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Binding: Paperback
- 492 pages
'Cantonese popular literature, comic books and movies-in fact, everyday life-is incomprehensiblewithout some understanding of slang. [A...]A Dictionary of Cantonese Slang is the one and only, covering everything from common colloquialismsto triad trash-talking.' -Professor Frank Dikotter, SOAS'a very significant contribution to the field of Chinese lexicography. [A...] Will shed much light on the kind of Cantonese speech that many people know about, talk about, and use in their daily conversations yet have not considered worthy of serious scholarship.' -Robert S. Bauer, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
From the Back Cover
"The one and only, covering everything from common colloquialisms to triad trash-talking. . . . More than an indispensable tool for anybody—reader, writer or even lawyer—who needs to understand everyday Cantonese." —Frank Dikötter, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
About the Author
Christopher Hutton has taught Yiddish studies at the University of Texas at Austin and general and English linguistics in Hong Kong. Kingsley Bolton is professor of linguistics at the University of Stockholm.
Most helpful customer reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful.
I am impressed.
Before you purchase a copy just remember this is a dictionary for CANTONESE slang. Cantonese being one of the many Chinese dialogues, obviously not every Chinese speaks Cantonese.
So having said that, I must inform everyone that Cantonese has the most vivid descriptions and usages of slang of the entire Chinese language (yet, being the least awful sounding). How do I know, because I was born in that wonderful city of Hong Kong! It's my native tongue, so trust me, we know how to slang in style~~ However, not all Cantonese slangs are entirely cruses nor are they offensive, you can use many of them safely in any environment. And this book presents the best of them in their original forms, including the usage of each slang and how to apply it within your speech. I am amazed by how accurate the dictionary truly is. The definations are all better than I thought they would be (as well as its entertaining value)! So if you are ever tired from repeating the same old phrases over and over again, then try adding a few Cantonese slangs into your speech to spice things up a little bit.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
Long overdue, but worth it.
By Anthony J. Bybell
When you see that an ex-CID officer wrote the intro and gave his nod of approval, you know you're in for a slang dictionary like few others--and this even includes such longtime favorites as Constantine's "Japanese Street Slang". Drawing from various diverse sources ranging from linguistic research papers to pornographic magazines, the authors have their bases covered. Even if you don't know Cantonese you'll find it's a very fun read what with such innocent sounding expressions as "ice fire" making you shake your head in disbelief when you read the definition. Students of Cantonese will like this one a lot: it has both the Yale transliteration (which it's indexed by) and Chinese characters so you'll be able to lend it to your Chinese friends too so they can learn how to express themselves more colorfully in English. Highly recommended.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
waited a long time for this to come out, and well worth it..the book is a fantastic contribution to Cantonese language study.
Cantonese is difficult anyway, and has very few good books for those learning the language, in contrast to Mandarin.
well done to the authors and publishers for sticking it out, anyone seriously studying Cantonese will need to learn the wonderfully rich and varied slang, and this really is a serious and valuable work, also rather amusing..thank you!.