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A History of English Dictionaries

 

  First English Dictionaries

 
  • Robert Cawdrey's A Table Alphabeticall (1604)
 
  • Bullokar, Cockeram, Blount, Phillips, Kersey and Bailey
 
  • Johnson's Dictionary - the first modern English dictionary
 
  • The earliest dictionaries tended to concentrate on 'hard words' and gave a simple explanation of their meaning
 
  • They focused mainly on highly Latinate, difficult words that perhaps were never really used in the general language
 
  • Kersey and Bailey were the first to include common words
 
  • Johnson was the first to do so in a systematic way and to apply the same careful standards of definition to these words as to 'hard words'

A page of Cawdrey's dictionary

 

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A HISTORY OF ENGLISH DICTIONARIES

  First English Dictionaries

  A Table Alphabeticall

  Dictionaries as Models of Standard

  Samuel Johnson's Project

  Johnson's Dictionary

  Johnsonís Talent for Definitions

  Johnsonís Shortcomings

  Johnsonís Achievements 

MODERN ENGLISH

  The "Ink-horn" Controversy 

  Humour & Pathos in Shakespeare

  Biblical Phrases Test

  British vs. American English

  More

 

 
 
 
 

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