The joy of slang

Love it or loathe it, slang (or non-standard English) is all around us. Language purists try in vain to impose rules that would keep language constrained to what they would define as ‘proper’ usage but the joy of English (and of slang) is that it throws off all attempts to tie it down.

Slang is inventive and playful and shows how flexible the English language is. More than anything – it’s fun.

Here’s a lovely short film exclusively featuring London slang (past and current) called ‘Be Lucky’. It was made by photographer and filmmaker Jenny Keogh with the help of slang lexicographer Jonathon Green (compiler of Green’s Dictionary of Slang).

Here’s what Jenny says about it on her website:

‘Be Lucky’ is a film celebrating London slang. Loaded with humorous insults and exchanges, it includes everything from Cockney to Street slang throughout the last five decades. This film packed with 94 slang phrases, is sure to educate and entertain people in London and beyond. The basic plot is based on gossip about a couple who were thrown out of the local boozer. Jenny Keogh & Jonathon Green have combined their skills to bring the written slang dictionary to life. This film aims to preserve London slang of the past whilst highlighting slang used today. They hope to make a series. Slang is forever evolving and in itself is a language, created by people for the people. Enjoy it. Share it. Celebrate it!

So – here it is:

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