NY: Privately published by Dan Burley, 1944.
Softbound (only issued softbound). Second printing. Illustrations, including the terrific zoot-suit-wearing hepcat cover illustration, by Melvin Tapley. Inscribed by Burley: "To a real hepcat / on the other side / of the big drink / Paul Graae--- / Dan Burley / '48 / NYC." Six years after Cab Calloway's classic "Cab Calloway's Cat-ologue: A 'Hepster's' Dictionary," the first dictionary of jive slang, Burley produced this much more substantive book devoted to jive lingo. It features an essay explaining the origins and definition of jive talk, as well as Burley's very entertaining parodies of Shakespeare's Hamlet soliloquy, and other classics such as The Night Before Xmas and Julius Caesar done in Harlem jive. There is a section titled "Book of Spiels" that prints short tales about life in Harlem done in jive lingo, and "A Jiver's Bible," featuring an extensive glossary of terms. A true tour de force of jive lingo that exceeds Calloway's book in it's scope. Calloway's "Cat-ologue" was simply a glossary of terms, this book cleverly utilizes the language of jive in a variety of contexts that more fully explore the use of the lingo, and the Harlem jazz and hipster scene of the period. Narrow chip to corner of title page, inevitable toning to pages of inexpensive stock, else a lovely, near fine copy of a book that seldom surfaces on the market, let alone in this condition and inscribed. An important title rare even in the second printing.