Eric Partridge (Eric Honeywood Partridge) Biography
(1894–1979), (Eric Honeywood Partridge), A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, Shakespeare's Bawdy
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 (1942–5) 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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