Lot 9 of 575:
Classic 1939 Black Jazz ‘Dictionary’  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,320
$300 - $500

The New Cab Calloway's Cat-ologue - Cab Calloway's famous 1939 jazz 'Jive Dictionary'

Calloway, Cab

New York




 14pp. 11.5x7.1 cm  (4½x2¾"), original pictorial saddle-stitched self-wrappers. Revised Edition, 1939.

Rare imprint. OCLC/WorldCat locates only one copy in any American institution. It is held at the New York Public Library. Written by (or at least attributed to) one of the best-known Black entertainers of the 1930s, orchestra leader at Harlem’s famed Cotton Club, the “Cat-ologue” is a legendary imprint which has called “the first dictionary published by a Black person”, though it is more accurately the first short lexicon of Black Jazz jargon, 100+ “quaint expressions” which would work their way into the general American vernacular, including  Boogie-Woogie (a new dance), corny (old fashioned, stale), freeby (no charge, gratis), gravy (profits), jitter bug (a swing fan), kopasetic (absolutely okay, the tops), mellow (all right, fine), ofay (white person), pad (bed), reefer (marijuana cigarette) skin (drums), yeah man (an exclamation of assent). This is the second of three printings (the last appeared in 1944 as the “language of jive”), all of which are highly collectible.

Lot Amendments

Lower corner bumped with consequent creasing, leaves rippled, mild soiling to rear cover; good or better.

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