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 backup? We are surrounded by hundreds of tribes, each speaking its own distinct slanguage of colourful words, jokes and phrases, honed through years of conversations on the battlefield, in A&E, backstage, or at 10,000 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.
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A flirt through social and professional groups
Enjoyable but a bit short and rushed in places.
- William Hayes