Secret Language

Secret Language

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
This book is about language designed to mean what it does not seem to mean. Ciphers and codes conceal messages and protect secrets. Symbol and magic hide meanings to imperil or delight. Languages made to baffle and confuse let insiders talk openly without being understood by those beyond thecircle. Barry Blake looks in depth at these and many more. He explores the history and uses of the slangs and argots of schools and trades. He traces the histories of centuries-old cants such as those used by sailors and criminals, among them polari, the mix of Italian, Yiddish, and slang spokenonce among strolling players and circus folk and then taken up by groups in London. He examines the sacred languages of ancient cults and religions, uncovers the workings of onomancy, spells, and gematria, considers the obliqueness of allusion and parody, and celebrates the absurdities of euphemismand jargon.Secret Language takes the reader on fascinating excursions down obscure byways of language, ranging across time and culture. With revelations on every page it will entertain everyone with an urge to know more about the most arcane and curious uses of language.
Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, c2010.
ISBN: 9780199579280
Characteristics: xi, 328 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

jordan1994 Jan 26, 2012

Quite a good book. Easy to read and comprehend yet comprehensive. Unrelated to content but also important: Nice beefy book of the right size and paper, but not too heavy to carry around (always the best kind of book).

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings

No similar edition of this title was found at LPL.

Try searching for Secret Language to see if LPL owns related versions of the work.

To Top