British slang has been the subject of many books, including a seven volume dictionary published in 1889. Lexicographer Eric Partridge published several works about British slang, most notably Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, revised and edited by Paul Beale.
The first recorded uses of slang in Britain occurred in the 16th century in the plays of Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton and William Shakespeare. The first books containing slang also appeared around that time: Robert Copland's The hye way to the Spytlell hous was a dialogue in verse between Copland and the porter of St Bartholomew's Hospital, which included thieves' cant; and in 1566, Thomas Harman's A Caveat or Warning for Common Cursitors, vulgarly called vagabonds was published. The Caveat contained stories of vagabond life, a description of their society and techniques, a taxonomy of rogues, and a short canting dictionary which was later reproduced in other works. 1e1e36bf2d