Getting Off at Gateshead: The Stories Behind the Dirtiest Words and Phrases in the English Language

Jonathon Green

Getting Off at Gateshead: The Stories Behind the Dirtiest Words and Phrases in the English Language

Where might it be advisable to bend your steps if you experienced an urgent need to bury a quaker? What would be your state of mind - or rather the state of your body - if someone described you as after your greens? How often does the average woman enjoy the pleasure of a visit from the cardinal? Under what circumstances would it be advisable to get out at Liverpool Edge Hill, rather than continuing all the way to Liverpool Lime Street? What is the exact nature of the complaint known as 'Irish toothache', and why is a hot poultice - or, failing that, a consultation with the eminent physician Dr Jerkoff - generally considered to be the only reliable cure? How old is the 'F' word and where does it come from? And has it always been verboten in polite society? "Getting Off at Gateshead" provides the answers to these, and to hundreds of other intriguing questions about words and phrases that are generally best avoided in job interviews, vicarage tea-parties, or when meeting your mother-in-law. The UK's leading slang expert Jonathon Green here provides the unexpurgated low-down on the downest and dirtiest expressions in the English language, some of them current, some of them obsolete - all of them utterly filthy, relating as they do to every conceivable human bodily function, whether sexual, masturbatory, menstrual, defecatory or emetic. "Getting out at Gateshead" not only tells the intriguing but little-known stories behind some familiar profanities - from the 'F' word to the 'C' word - it also offers a cornu-copia of less familiar terms that readers will be itching to regale their friends with. 3.5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
Getting Off at Gateshead: The Stories Behind the Dirtiest Words and Phrases in the English Language

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Humour, Language & Linguistics
Format Hardback
Pages 224
RRP £9.99
Date of Publication October 2008
ISBN 978-1847246080
Publisher Quercus
 

Where might it be advisable to bend your steps if you experienced an urgent need to bury a quaker? What would be your state of mind - or rather the state of your body - if someone described you as after your greens? How often does the average woman enjoy the pleasure of a visit from the cardinal? Under what circumstances would it be advisable to get out at Liverpool Edge Hill, rather than continuing all the way to Liverpool Lime Street? What is the exact nature of the complaint known as 'Irish toothache', and why is a hot poultice - or, failing that, a consultation with the eminent physician Dr Jerkoff - generally considered to be the only reliable cure? How old is the 'F' word and where does it come from? And has it always been verboten in polite society? "Getting Off at Gateshead" provides the answers to these, and to hundreds of other intriguing questions about words and phrases that are generally best avoided in job interviews, vicarage tea-parties, or when meeting your mother-in-law. The UK's leading slang expert Jonathon Green here provides the unexpurgated low-down on the downest and dirtiest expressions in the English language, some of them current, some of them obsolete - all of them utterly filthy, relating as they do to every conceivable human bodily function, whether sexual, masturbatory, menstrual, defecatory or emetic. "Getting out at Gateshead" not only tells the intriguing but little-known stories behind some familiar profanities - from the 'F' word to the 'C' word - it also offers a cornu-copia of less familiar terms that readers will be itching to regale their friends with.

Reviews

Time Out

John O'Connell (London)

Who better to collect the dirtiest words and phrases in the English language than top slang lexicographer Green? No Gareth Hunt he. In case you were wondering, ‘getting off at Gateshead’ means withdrawal before ejaculation. The alternative is continuing all the way to Newcastle. The phrase ‘matrimonial peacemaker’ to describe the penis dates from the seventeenth century. Fancy.

15/04/2009

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The Independent

John Walsh

Green revels in the prodigious inventiveness of taboo-stretchers down the years. He is marvellous company, cod-academic, unshockable but fastidious (the occasional really gross usage draws from him the comment "charming"), tirelessly fascinated by words and hostile to the "diehard and tediously vocal group" who try to suppress them in the 21st century. And he tells good stories. How Robert Browning read in a 1660 poem the lines, "They talkt of his having a Cardinalls Hat/ They'd send him as soon an old Nuns Twat," innocently assumed the word meant something like a "wimple," and included the line "cowls and twats" in his verse drama Pippa Passes. It became a school text, much sniggered over. Browning died without anyone daring to explain his mistake.

21/11/2008

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The Daily Telegraph

Christopher Howse

Getting Off at Gateshead discusses the “dirtiest words and phrases in English”. It might have missed the boat with this as a selling point, since the Ross-Brand answerphone horror, but it is the work of Jonathon Green, a respected scatolexicographer. Yet despite the wit and invention of many filthy slang terms, immersion in this clotted verbal reservoir induces a feeling of grubby ennui.

01/12/2008

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