Learning the largonji

This is my review of Slang ! : Dictionnaire d’argot et d’anglais familier by Harrap.

Many modern French novels contain a good deal of slang, and although there are some very comprehensive online sources of information, it is always useful to find a hard copy dictionary with a good coverage.

Fairly compact with words and idioms highlighted in bold and mainly concise definitions, this has the additional feature of "Spotlight on" boxes on e.g. "L'alcool et l'ivresse", "L'argent","La colère", "Le corps", "Les insultes" and so on. There are also "Slang Sleuth" boxes e.g. on "L'Argot des banlieues/des cités". On most pages there are one or two entries to expand information e.g. on the suffixes "aille" or "ard". I like the way the origin of words is often supplied.

As an English speaker, it is interesting to read the first half in French explaining English slang. My concern here is that I do not recognise quite a lot of the supposedly English slang used. Under "rhyming slang", I was bemused to find "Britneys=Britney Spears=beers" – perhaps this is an example of American slang, but not the more authentic "apples and pears=stairs" or "trouble-and-strife=wife".

It is enjoyable simply to "dip into" this, in the hopes of building up a bank of knowledge to reduce the need to break off reading to check on a term. I would say that it complements Barron's "Dictionary of French Slang" which I acquired some time ago, which is "one-way French to English, has a slightly different coverage of terms (hard to tell if less or more) and tends to provide more examples of words in different contexts.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 Stars

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