Historical Dictionary of American Slang
Volume 1
AuthorJonathan E. Lighter
CountryUnited States
GenreReference work
PublisherRandom House
Publication date
1994 (v.1), 1997 (v.2)
Media typePrint
Pages1742 (first 2 vols.)
LC ClassPE 2846 .H57 1994

The Historical Dictionary of American Slang, often abbreviated HDAS, is a dictionary of American slang. The first two volumes, Volume 1, A – G (1994), and Volume 2, H – O (1997), were published by Random House, and the work then was known as the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, sometimes abbreviated as RHHDAS. Both volumes used the same ISBN, ISBN 0-394-54427-7; the paperback editions are ISBN 978-0-394-54427-4 for Volume 1 and ISBN 978-0-679-43464-1 for Volume 2.


When Random House discontinued publication, Oxford University Press announced in 2003 that it would publish the two remaining volumes, Volume 3, P – S [Part 1], ISBN 978-0-19-517418-2, and Volume 4, S [Part 2] – Z.[1] As of 2020, however, those volumes have not yet been published.

Each entry includes representative quotations, including the earliest quotation using the word. HDAS is edited by Jonathan E. Lighter of the University of Tennessee. It is sometimes compared to Green's Dictionary of Slang, which takes a generally similar approach but is not focused specifically on American slang.

The HDAS is not to be confused with the DAS, the Dictionary of American Slang (1975).[2][3]


  1. ^ "Historical Dictionary of American Slang: Project History". Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
  2. ^ Wentworth, Harold; Flexner, Stuart Berg (1975). Dictionary of American slang - Harold Wentworth, Stuart Berg Flexner - Google Books. Crowell. ISBN 9780690006704. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  3. ^ "Dictionaries and Works Cited: Dictionary of Newfoundland English". Heritage.nf.ca. Retrieved 2014-03-28.