Saturday, 1 January 2011

Green’s Dictionary Of Slang, Filth and Rick Astley

I received (nay, I demanded with menaces!) a copy of the new three volume Green’s Dictionary Of Slang from my dearest beloved as a Christmas present. Unfortunately, due to other commitments related to the unfortunate necessity of earning hard cash, I have not yet had the chance to study it in depth.

I shall therefore defer giving my considered opinion on this mighty oeuvre until a later date. In the meantime, you may want to take a look at Colin MacCabe’s review in the New Statesman. Apart from his views on the Dictionary itself, MacCabe also provides a few interesting titbits on Mr Green. For some reason, I had formed a picture of Jonathon Green as a dusty academic who, when he’s not researching Anglo-Saxon epic verse or High German alliterative poetry, gravitates towards the dark library cellars containing learned tomes of historical smut. So I was surprised to discover that Mr Green had formerly written for such academic journals as Rolling Stone, International Times and Oz and his previous publications includes such eminent titles as The Big Book of Filth and The Big Book of Bodily Functions.

This heartens me greatly. Speaking as the writer of such fine works as The Mega-pop Trivia Quiz Book, the Bruce Willis Special Edition Poster Magazine and The Pet Shop Boys Mega Mix Annual (many of which are still available from Amazon sellers) and also as the publisher of 18 Rated Magazine (banned by Mssrs W H Smith and all good newsagents) I feel in good company. Indeed, I see that Mr Green was employed by the Felix Dennis publishing company so it is entirely possible that we have passed upon the stairs at some time or another. I used to edit a magazine (The PC Buyer’s Guide) published by Dennis and I’ve been a columnist and reviewer for various other Felix Dennis magazines too.

Ah, if only I had devoted my life to the study of vulgarity, perhaps I too might have ascended to the heights of Jonathon Green! Alas, I remain but an amateur of the vulgar tongue. So while my best chance at everlasting fame is, perhaps, my celebrated ‘1988 Rick Astley Special’, Jonathon Green has given the world his wonderful dictionary. O! the cruel twists of fate!


  1. Sir C,

    I shudder at further revelations, but I was also privileged, in Mr Dennis' generous employ, to offer the world Kung Fu Monthly (under the name 'Jo Nat Hon'; Mr D himself, no doubt presciently given his current wealth, was 'Felix Yen'); Starsky and Hutch Monthly and The Fonzie Diaries. Professor MacCabe also omitted the deathless prose of one 'Angie Heath', whose 'Diary of a Masseuse' graced the shelves in 1976. I would like to think that I have since moved to better things, but such assessments are possibly merely relative.

  2. Diary of a Masseuse sounds curiously enticing. Do not be ashamed of your trash journalism past, Jonathon. One of the highlights of my literary career was the photo-story which I wrote and co-directed for a teenage pop magazine and which was seized by the police when a Brighton grandmother contacted the authorities on the grounds that it encouraged cannibalism among our readers. My talent flowered too soon I think - I have never since matched that achievement.

    Oh joy! I see that "Diary of a Masseuse" is still available!

  3. Diary of a Messeuse: 'A bishop learns the true meaning of "the laying on of hands" ', thus the blurb for the gal who boasted 'the fastest fingers in Frith Street'. No shame, none at all. Very popular title, I was told by a pal then banged up therein, in Wandsworth nick. We haven't even got to my sojourns at Fiesta and Knave. I peaked at Dennis with Crossroads Monthly, esp. in my last editorial before FD canned the mag. It followed the death of one of the actors: 'Art with all its melodramas, stands as nothing in the face of nature's cruel realities...' (with a lovely black border)

  4. I'm surprised our paths have not crossed before, Jonathon. Do you know Martyn Lester and Ian Pemble - both at some time involved with one or other of the journals you mention? I worked with Martyn on a Dennis mag (I think Dennis Publishing was called Sportscene back in those days) many years ago and Ian (who, I believe, used to edit Fiesta?) wrote an autobiographical column for my short-lived and much banned magazine, 18 Rated. The column was called "Meanwhile Back At The Raunch or: how to make a career out of sleaze". Happy days!

    Diary Of a Masseuse sounds right up my street. Time for a reprint, perhaps?