Record Details

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

Additional Content For This Title

Available copies

  • 0 of 2 copies available at Missouri Evergreen. (Show)
  • 0 of 1 copy available at North Kansas City.

Current holds

1 current hold with 2 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
North Kansas City Public Library 437.009 PUCHNER 2020 (Text) 0001002374674 Nonfiction New In transit -

Record details

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
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 Atinlayfor 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.
Summary, etc.:
"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.
Subject: Puchner, Martin, 1969-
Puchner, Martin, 1969- > Family.
German language > Slang.
Cant > Germany.
Thieves > Language.
Tramps > Language.
Language policy > Germany > History > 20th century.
College teachers > United States > Biography.
Germany > Languages > Political aspects.

Additional Resources