Barrelhouse Words: A Blues Dialect Dictionary and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
CDN$ 21.32
  • List Price: CDN$ 34.00
  • You Save: CDN$ 12.68 (37%)
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Barrelhouse Words: A Blues Dialect Dictionary Paperback – Oct 1 2009


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
CDN$ 21.32
CDN$ 15.28 CDN$ 20.71

Join Amazon Student in Canada



Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details



Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.ca
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
BLUES LISTENERS NEED THIS BOOK Dec 10 2009
By Stuart Jefferson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Trade-size,271 pages of definitions. There is an author's note and an introduction. Also included is an annotated bibliography of dictionary sources,and a general bibliography. There is a list of people who the author consulted or interviewed-several (Gary Davis,Skip James,Son House,for example) before their death,and a list of abbreviations and symbols used in the text,which is very useful. True to it's title,the words and explanations are laid out like a dictionary,in alphabetical order. The acid-free paper is a very nice cream color,which makes reading (or looking up) the definitions easy on the eyes.

This book was originally begun in the 1960's,then put aside because of lack of publisher interest in the 1970's. In 2005,thanks to another scholar,Calt forged ahead,up-dated his manuscript,and finally had it published. And for everyone who listens to blues music,especially earlier styles from various regions (country blues from Texas for example),this book is a valuable key in unlocking words and phrases (both local and more widely known) which have alluded listeners for years. Included are more than 1200 definitions from the era of "race records" (as blues was then called) that have long ago lost their meaning for listeners in the present. Included are slang terms and place names that have been neglected until now. The meanings,explained in modern terms,are also shown in context in snippets of song lyrics from the era,which adds valuable insight to the word usage.

A number of these terms ("afterwhile","creeper",or "pallet" for example) can be figured out in the context of the surrounding words in the song. But to have a definitive meaning leaves no room for speculation. Other terms ("backbite","gauge","shim-sham-shimmy","dead cat on the line",as examples) need clarification. This is where this book comes into it's own. There are so many definitions of words and phrases that,in the modern world,are no longer relevant,or have simply been forgotten,that this wonderful book could be read almost as a history lesson in itself.

For anyone who listens to blues music and has wondered what a particular word/phrase means,this is something you need. As someone who has listened to blues music for over 40 years,I find this book opens up many doors,and gives much insight and understanding into songs I've listened to,and not been able to catch the full meaning of the lyrics. When Blind Willie McTell sings about putting his pistol "in so' ",now I know what he's really saying. What does "Blind" Lemon Jefferson mean by "jump a rattler"? Or when Robert Johnson sings about taking something out of someone's " 'nation sack",I now know what he's doing. Or when the MEMPHIS JUG BAND sings about a woman looking as good as a "Georgia ham",I now know what they're referring to. What does Lucille Bogan mean when she sings about someone being a "pot hound"? And just what does "graveyard love" really mean? This great book opens up the world of blues music/lyrics like no other. Either spot-reading or reading from cover to cover,this book is both entertaining and invaluable to blues lovers. If blues listeners want to know what they are really listening to-get this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Informative collection July 16 2013
By Jack_Nitski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cault has compiled information that was previously disparate at best. Cault is a word-smith, and seems fairly good at that endeavor.

But his appreciation of the Blues as an art form and as a reflection of the lives that produced the blues idiom, is at least lacking and pejorative at best. Lets just say you can palpably feel his parochial roots. But that does not reflect on the seeming clinical job he has taken and worked with, achieving reasonable quality, at least to the degree that I recommend this volume as a reference.

I really would (were it possible), based upon Cault's Introduction; love to watch the debate between this author and Albert Murray. Not that Murray doesn't reveal his own biases in Stomping the Blues, but it is clear that we have between these two authors perfect example of the American society's inability to get along, stop judging each others predilection, let history go as perhaps unfortunate words in books and come together as a society for mutual benefit.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A handy resource for blues fans. March 28 2010
By Dennis M. Heath - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ya know, you can listen to blues, especially if you are a novice and really not know for sure what the heck they are insinuating. This book clears it up and it is amazing how many ways you can have double entres in blues. Fun book to have and will help anyone with their blues knowledge which of course makes for more appreciation.
Keep Nearby March 13 2012
By jcbl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book to keep nearby as you listen to your old blues tunes. Ever wonder what a particular word or phrase means? Likely you'll find your answer here. Well done and enjoyable for any blues fan.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Fun pick-up book March 12 2010
By Zeldie Stuart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I keep this book at my bedside; It is a fun and good read explaining the words used in blues songs. Even if you dont listen to the blues this book will keep you entertained. Best part is that you can just flip through the pages and pick any page to read and set it aside for the next day.


Feedback