By Kenneth Hudson
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Extra info for A Dictionary of the Teenage Revolution and its Aftermath
Four years later, however, the ordinary newspapers could write of 'harassing black people' (Daily Mirror, 22 March 1979) without any fear of causing a racial riot or of having the office windows smashed by a youthful mob. Blag. To persuade, con, get something for nothing. This is an interesting case of an old-established word moving away from its low origins. In the 1920s and 1930s it was applied entirely to members of the criminal and semi-criminal classes, who earned a living by extracting money and goods from their gullible fellow citizens.
The barfly's bar must be, broadly speaking, of the American or hotel type, with stools on which the fly can conveniently settle, close to a bar on which it can rest its wings-' ... a mutual acquaintance, an unhappy barfly' (Sounds, 24March 1979). Barnet. A hairstyle, less frequently, a head of hair. It is derived from the Cockney rhyming slang, 'Barnet Fair', meaning 'hair'. Now, in its shortened form, it is widely used and understood outside London, in the kind of circles indicated by the source of the following example.
Bust. (i) To arrest, raid, prosecute, usually on a drug charge. The past participle is either 'bust' or 'busted'. 'Don't give them any excuse to bust you' (International Times, 30 June 1967), or 'Turkey is the Buzz 33 worst country in the world to get busted in' (letter to Oz 15, July/Aug 1969). (ii) A raid, arrest. 'A drug bust at Corpus Christi airport broke up the band' (Melody Maker, 24Jan 1981). (iii) To fight. 'I had strict principles about busting other groups who were wearing the colours' (Mandelkau: Buttons, 1971).
A Dictionary of the Teenage Revolution and its Aftermath by Kenneth Hudson