Skip to content
You are not logged in |Login  
Limit search to available items
Book Cover
Author Puchner, Martin, 1969- author.

Title The language of thieves : my family's obsession with a secret code the Nazis tried to eliminate / Martin Puchner.

Publication Info. New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2020]


Location Call No. Status
 Cheshire Public Library - New Materials  NEW 437.009 PUCHNER    DUE 10-21-21
 New Britain, Main Library - Non Fiction  437.009 PUC    Check Shelf
 Newington, Lucy Robbins Welles Library - Adult Department  437.009 PUCHNER    Check Shelf
 Simsbury Public Library - Non Fiction  437.009 PUCHNER    Check Shelf
 West Hartford, Noah Webster Library - Non Fiction  437.009 PUCHNER    Check Shelf
Edition First edition.
Description 278 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary "Tracking an underground language from one family's obsession to the outcasts who spoke it in order to survive. Centuries ago in middle Europe, a coded language appeared, scrawled in graffiti and spoken only by people who were "wiz" (in the know)--vagrants and refugees, merchants and thieves. This hybrid language was rich in expressions for police, jail, or experiencing trouble, such as "being in a pickle." And beginning with Martin Luther, German Protestants who disliked its speakers wanted to stamp it out. The Nazis hated it most of all. As a boy, Martin Puchner learned this secret language through his father and uncle. Only as an adult did he discover, through a poisonous 1930s tract on Jewish names, that his own grandfather, an historian and archivist, had been a committed Nazi who hated everything his sons and grandsons loved about "the language of thieves." Interweaving family memoir with scholarship and an adventurous foray into the politics of language, Puchner crafts an entirely original journey narrative. In a language born of migration and hybridity, he discovers a witty and resourceful spirit of tolerance that remains essential today"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [251]-259) and index.
Contents Introduction: Language Games -- Camouflage Names -- The Book of Vagrants -- A Picture Comes into View -- The Rotwelsch Inheritance -- The King of the Tramps -- The Farmer and the Judge -- An Attic in Prague -- When Jesus Spoke Rotwelsch -- Igpay Atinlay for Adults -- The Story of an Archivist -- Judgment at Hikels-Mokum -- Error-Spangled Banner -- Your Grandfather Would Have Been Proud of You -- Rotwelsch in America -- The Laughter of a Yenish Chief.
Subject German language -- Slang.
Cant -- Germany.
Thieves -- Language.
Tramps -- Language.
Language policy -- Germany -- History -- 20th century.
Germany -- Languages -- Political aspects.
Puchner, Martin, 1969-
Puchner, Martin, 1969- -- Family.
College teachers -- United States -- Biography.
Cant. (OCoLC)fst00846072
College teachers. (OCoLC)fst00868114
Families. (OCoLC)fst01728849
German language -- Slang. (OCoLC)fst00941704
Language and languages -- Political aspects. (OCoLC)fst00992197
Language policy. (OCoLC)fst00992402
Thieves -- Language. (OCoLC)fst01765933
Tramps -- Language. (OCoLC)fst01154477
Germany. (OCoLC)fst01210272
United States. (OCoLC)fst01204155
Chronological Term 1900-1999
Genre/Form Biographies. (OCoLC)fst01919896
History. (OCoLC)fst01411628
ISBN 9781324005919 (hardcover)
1324005912 (hardcover)
9781324005926 (epub)
Add a Review