Learn how to decode the private languages that are swapped around us every day - amongst cabbies and paramedics, soap stars and comedians, cricketers and barristers - in Susie Dent's unique and witty guide to Britain's modern tribes.
Did you know that . . . a soldier's biggest social blunder is called jack brew - making yourself a cuppa without making one for anyone else? That twitchers have an expression for a bird that can't be identified - LBJ (the letters stand for Little Brown Job)? Or that builders call plastering the ceiling doing Lionel Richie's dancefloor? Susie Dent does.
Ever wondered why football managers all speak the same way, what a cabbie calls the Houses of Parliament, or how ticket inspectors discreetly request back-up? We are surrounded by hundreds of tribes, each speaking their own distinct slanguage of colourful words, jokes and phrases, honed through years of conversations on the battlefield, in A&E, backstage, or at ten-thousand feet in the air.
Susie Dent has spent years interviewing hundreds of professionals, hobbyists and enthusiasts, and the result is an idiosyncratic phrasebook like no other. From the Freemason's handshake to the publican's banter, Dent's Modern Tribes takes us on a whirlwind tour of Britain, decoding its secret languages and, in the process, finds out what really makes us all tick.
Thoroughly entertaining and illuminating - Independent
A fabulous read for anyone who loves words, and wants to learn some more. Funny, fact-filled and delightful
Wonderfully clever and funny . . . a national treasury from a national treasure
A fascinating, joyful look at the tribes all around us, from twitchers to taxi-drivers. A must
I thought only criminals had their own words for everything. Dent's Modern Tribes shows me quite how wrong I was
Sparkles with gentle wit, fascinating illustration, and linguistic insight
A brilliant, funny, wise, and illuminating canter through the languages of modern tribes
Susie Dent is a one-off. She breathes life and fun into words
Susie Dent is the resident word expert in Dictionary Corner on C4's Countdown and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, has been on every programme about words: 15 x 15, Word of Mouth, More or Less; and is a regular panellist on R4's Wordaholics. Susie also writes a weekly column for the Radio Times, reviews for the Spectator and has over 570,000 followers on Twitter. This is the book she has always wanted to write.