Telling Dildrams and Talking Whiff-Whaff
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William Holloway (1786-1870) was an early environmentalist, social reformer and collector of ephemera. His General Dictionary of Provincialisms, first published in 1839, was an offshoot of his mania for collecting: it was a compilation of regional and dialect words and 'fast fading relics' which he hoped to rescue from oblivion. Reprinted in facsimile, it offers a wondrous selection of arcane vocabulary, from abel-whackets (a sailors' card game) to the onomatopoeic zwop. Foreword by David Crystal.