Eric Partridge, born on the North Island of New Zealand, was a lexicographer of the English language, particularly noted for his expertise on its slang. In 1907, the family moved to Australia, where Partridge studied first classics and then French and English at the University of Queensland. During this time, he also taught for three years before joining the Australian infantry during the World War I. His interest in slang and the "underside" of language is said to date from his wartime experiences. Partridge returned to university between 1919 and 1921, when he received his BA. He then became Queensland Travelling Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford, where he worked on both an MA on 18th-century English romantic poetry, and a B.Litt in comparative literature. He then taught briefly in a grammar school in Lancashire, and held lectureships at the Universities of Manchester and London. In 1923, he found "a second home" in the British Museum Library, where he worked for the next 50 years. In 1925 he married Agnes Dora Vye-Parminter, with whom he had a daughter. In 1927 he founded the small private Scholartis Press, which published books by William Blake, George Sand, and Edmund Spenser, among others, over its five-year span. Partridge's own first major work on slang, Slang Today and Yesterday, appeared in 1933, and his famous Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, followed in 1937. During World War II, he served in the Army Education Corps and the RAF's correspondence department, before returning to his desk at the British Museum. Altogether, Partridge wrote more than 40 books on the English language. He also wrote novels under the pseudonym Corrie Denison, and books on tennis, which he played well.