Almaty: [Tip. MVD KazSSR], 1971. Item #1613
102 pp. 26x18,5 cm. In original printed wrappers. Few stains on covers, otherwise mint.
First edition typewritten and then reproduced on a rotator. One of 3000 copies.
A dictionary for criminal slang that includes more than 3000 words and expressions. This variety of Russian language is limited by relation to crime, yet it develops, as other languages, including new components, discarding archaic ones and changing some definitions because of the environment. According to the foreword, a word “vasor” emerged in 1937 meaning “danger, alertness, attention”. However, it began to be defined as “empty space, hopeless business” by 1970. The concept of danger later shifted into the expression “liver daviat” and words “atas” and “strem”.
In creating jargon words, the compiler highlights criminals from Povolzhye and Odessa, who are followed by people born in Kharkiv, Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Tashkent and Almaty. Besides general slang, some occupational varieties exist. Thus, a group of thieves acting in railway trains had some specific expressions and words that were familiar only to them. The situation is the same with pickpockets, shop robbers, fraudsters, etc.
A small dictionary, that was compiled earlier, is followed with a greater amount of words collected for this edition. Also, the compiler sorted out categories: thieves’ specialties, thieves’ places of staying, people from a non-criminal world, things, clothes and shoes, food, certain buildings, animals, human body, terms related to money and playing cards, as well as expressions and words defining action.
The only copy is located in Princeton University.