NY: Privately published by Dan Burley, 1944.
Softbound (only issued softbound). Second printing (published the same year as the first). Illustrations, including the terrific zoot-suit-wearing hepcat cover illustration, by Melvin Tapley. 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 hipster 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. A remarkably bright, crisp, well preserved copy, easily the nicest we've seen. An important book that went through eight printings---the first two, published the same year, are both rare, especially in this condition.