Modo novo da intendere la lingua zerga, cioè parlar furbesco. Opera non men piacevole, che utilissima. Con un capitolo, & quattro sonetti in lingua zerga, nuovamente posti in luce. Di nuovo ristampata per ordine di alfabetto.
Venetia, Bassano, G.A. Remond [n.d.]
A1-12,  15 cm.
Acquired through the Stanford University Bookstore Fund.
[Discorso in lingua zerga].
[17th century manuscript].
Rare example of this popular glossary of Italian thieves’ slang bound with a manuscript ode to feasting by a seventeenth-century student of the secret language, as well as philological notes on the jargon in a slightly later hand. Lingua zerga originated in the Veneto as the secret underworld jargon, but was soon adopted and further developed by Paduan students. The Modo novo da intendere was compiled and published by the Paduan poet Antonio Brocardo (d. 1531) who dedicated it to a Venetian courtesan.
The manuscript part of the present copy offers a colorful example of the Novo modo’s popularity in academic circles. Beginning with the headline “Speech in verses in praise is eating and drinking, for the academicians who understand the language” (written out in both lingua zerga and Italian), the anonymous author pays boisterous tribute to the pleasures of the table.