About the Book

How the Irish Invented Slang

How the Irish Invented Slang

The Secret Language of the Crossroads
May 2007
Trade Paperback · 224 Pages
$18.95 U.S. · $23.00 CAN
ISBN 9781904859604
AK Press

 

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Description

In a series of lively essays, this pioneering book proves that US slang has its strongest wellsprings in nineteenth-century Irish America. "Jazz" and "poker," "sucker" and "scam" all derive from Irish. While demonstrating this, Daniel Cassidy simultaneously traces the hidden history of how Ireland fashioned America, not just linguistically, but through the Irish gambling underworld, urban street gangs, and the powerful political machines that grew out of them. Cassidy uncovers a secret national heritage, long discounted by our WASP-dominated culture.

Daniel Cassidy is the founder and co-director of the Irish Studies Program at New College in San Francisco.

About the Author

Daniel Cassidy is founder and co-director of An Léann Éireannach, the Irish Studies Program at New College of California in San Francisco. His research on the Irish language's influence on American vernacular and slang has been published in the New York Observer, Ireland's Hot Press magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Lá, the Irish-language newspaper.