The Historical Dictionary of American Slang

22 Oct

Today I tried to focus on research for my NaNoWriMo novel, which will be set in the American colonies just before the Revolutionary War. I haven’t done nearly as much research as I should, so I put my nose to the grindstone today and came up with a really good find:

A Historical Dictionary of American Slang.

The website allows you to enter a time frame and spits out words used during that time. Okay, so I’m not entirely sure how accurate it is, but for the 1770s the few words that they have sound about right: clink, togs, dern, Golly. I mean, it’s better than nothing, right?

I intend to do a lot more research in regards to language. It’s one of my hang-ups when reading historical fiction. If the characters don’t sound like they belong in the time period, I’m not likely to enjoy the book. I’ve been immersing myself in a few 1770s journals, but for a quick fix–or to check if a word is okay to use in a certain era or not–I think this will work wonders.

What resources do you use when researching for your novel? I’d love to hear about them!


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