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Eric Partridge (Eric Honeywood Partridge) Biography

(1894–1979), (Eric Honeywood Partridge), A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, Shakespeare's Bawdy

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Cynthia Ozick Biography to Ellis Peters Biography

Australian lexicographer and etymologist, born in Waimata Valley, New Zealand, educated at the Universities of Queensland and Oxford. He founded the Scholartis Press; its failure led him to specialize in books about slang and bawdy. He is best known for A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (1937) and Shakespeare's Bawdy (1947). While serving with the propaganda department of the Royal Air Force (19425) he wrote Usage and Abusage (1942) and A Dictionary of RAF Slang (1945). His apparently haphazard methods of compiling his dictionaries have aroused some criticism, but one of his most stringent critics, Robert Burchfield, has singled out Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English (1958) and A Dictionary of Catch Phrases: British and American from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day (1977) as works of lasting value. See David Crystal (ed.), Eric Partridge in His Own Words (1980).

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