"The first dictionary of slang, out of print for 300 years, is being published by the Bodleian Library from a rare copy unearthed in its collections. Originally entitled A New Dictionary of Terms, Ancient and Modern, of the Canting Crew, its aim was to educate the polite London classes in 'canting' – the language of thieves and ruffians – should they be unlucky enough to wander into the 'wrong' parts of town. With over 4,000 entries, the dictionary contains many words which are now part of everyday parlance, such as 'Chitchat' and 'Eyesore' as well as a great many which have become obsolete, such as the delightful 'Dandyprat' and 'Fizzle'. Remarkably, this landmark of English from 1699 was compiled and published anonymously, by an author who has left us only his initials – 'B.E. Gent [gentleman]"