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LENTZNER, Karl. - Colonial English: A Glossary of Australian, Anglo-Indian, Pidgin English, West Indian, and South African Words. (Worterbuch der Englischen Volkssprache Australiens).

Halle-Leipzig, Karras & London, Kegan Paul 1891. Largish octavo publisher's printed card wrapper; [18],237,[2]pp. Wrappers a bit browned and used, inside an excellent unopened copy. Titled in German on the wrapper and first title page; following this is the English title page, and the rest is all in English. ¶ Hard to find and quite fabulous. This is the first dictionary of colonial Australian, with slang, words introduced from aboriginal languages and from pidgin. Lentzner seems to have spent some years in New South Wales in the 1870's. He claimed to have taught languages at Sydney Grammar and Kings School and mentions coming across 'Yokohama-Pidgin' as spoken by Japanese naval officers in Sydney in 1877, which gives the Australian portions some claim to originality and importance; for the rest he relies heavily on other authorities. The claim to originality and importance may be arguable and the use of other authorities questionable - as 'The Bulletin', in a scathing notice of January 30, 1892, wrote: "published at the end of last year ... [and] almost instantly withdrawn. The latter step was the proper one ... as the material, badly compiled at best, violated several copyrights." They went on: "The very faults of the work, however, will give it value in collectors' eyes, and those fortunate enough to get hold of one of the few copies which reached Australia may now be interested to know that the book is already selling at fancy prices." Whether, or however, the difficulties of copyright were resolved the same sheets were re-issued with a cancel title page and a new title, 'Dictionary of the Slang-English of Australia', dated 1892. Copies with either title seem equally hard to come by.
AUD 750.00 [Appr.: EURO 470.25 US$ 524.23 | £UK 391.25 | JP¥ 60400] Book number 10847

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