A Dictionary Of English Idiomsa Dictionary Of English Idioms
New And Revised Edition 1847
Upon Webster’s death in 1843, the unsold books and all rights to the copyright and name “Webster” were purchased by brothers George and Charles Merriam, who then hired Webster’s son-in-law Chauncey A. Goodrich, a professor at Yale College, to oversee revisions. Goodrich’s New and Revised Edition appeared on September 24, 1847, and a Revised and Enlarged edition in 1848, which added a section of illustrations indexed to the text. His revisions remained close to Webster’s work, but removed what later editors referred to as his “excrescences”.
Websters American Dictionary Of The English Language Is Printed
Noah Webster, a Yale-educated lawyer with an avid interest in language and education, publishes his American Dictionary of the English Language on April 14, 1828.
Websters dictionary was one of the first lexicons to include distinctly American words. The dictionary, which took him more than two decades to complete, introduced more than 10,000 Americanisms. The introduction of a standard American dictionary helped standardize English spelling, a process that had started as early as 1473, when printer William Caxton published the first book printed in English. The rapid proliferation of printing and the development of dictionaries resulted in increasingly standardized spellings by the mid-17th century. Coincidentally, Samuel Johnsons Dictionary of the English Language was published almost exactly 63 years earlier, on April 15, 1755.
Noah Websters Civil War Of Words Over American English
The title page of Noah Websters 1828 edition of the American Dictionary of the English Language. Courtesy Wikimedia
is the author of numerous books, including the acclaimed biographies Samuel Johnson and A Life of James Boswell , and his latest book is The Dictionary Wars: The American Fight Over the English Language. He has taught English literature in the United States and England, and divides his time between West Sussex, England and Spain.
Published in association withPrinceton University Pressan Aeon Strategic Partner
The title page of Noah Websters 1828 edition of the American Dictionary of the English Language. Courtesy Wikimedia
In the United States, the name Noah Webster is synonymous with the word dictionary. But it is also synonymous with the idea of America, since his first unabridged American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828 when Webster was 70, blatantly stirred the young nations thirst for cultural independence from Britain.
Websters etymology, meanwhile, which he spent a decade dreaming up, was deeply flawed because of his ignorance of the exciting discoveries made by leading philologists in Europe about the evolution of Indo-European languages from roots such as Sanskrit. His etymologies conform entirely to the interpretation of words as presented in the Bible. He was convinced that the primitive language of man spoken by the descendants of Noah must have been the original Chaldee.
The Name Webster Used By Others
Since the late 19th century, dictionaries bearing the name Webster’s have been published by companies other than Merriam-Webster. Some of these were unauthorized reprints of Noah Webster’s work some were revisions of his work. One such revision was Webster’s Imperial Dictionary, based on John Ogilvie‘s The Imperial Dictionary of the English Language, itself an expansion of Noah Webster’s American Dictionary.
Following legal action by Merriam, successive US courts ruled by 1908 that Webster’s entered the public domain when the Unabridged did, in 1889. In 1917, a US court ruled that Webster’s entered the public domain in 1834 when Noah Webster’s 1806 dictionary’s copyright lapsed. Thus, Webster’s became a genericized trademark and others were free to use the name on their own works.
Since then, use of the name Webster has been rampant. Merriam-Webster goes to great pains to remind dictionary buyers that it alone is the heir to Noah Webster. Although Merriam-Webster revisers find solid ground in Noah Webster’s concept of the English language as an ever-changing tapestry, the issue is more complicated than that. Throughout the 20th century, some non-Merriam editions, such as Webster’s New Universal, were closer to Webster’s work than contemporary Merriam-Webster editions. Further revisions by Merriam-Webster came to have little in common with their original source, while the Universal, for example, was minimally revised and remained largely out of date.
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Hip Woke Cool: Its All Fodder For The Oxford Dictionary Of African American English
The new lexicon, with Henry Louis Gates Jr. as editor in chief, will collect definitions and histories of words. The bottom line of the African American people, Gates said, is these are people who love language.
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The first time she heard Barbara Walters use the expression shout out on television, Tracey Weldon took note.
I was like, Oh my goodness, it has crossed over! said Weldon, a linguist who studies African American English.
English has many words and expressions like shout out, she said, which began in Black communities, made their way around the country and then through the English-speaking world. The process has been happening over generations, linguists say, adding an untold number of contributions to the language, including hip, nitty gritty, cool and woke.
Now, a new dictionary the Oxford Dictionary of African American English will attempt to codify the contributions and capture the rich relationship Black Americans have with the English language.
Just the way Louis Armstrong took the trumpet and turned it inside out from the way people played European classical music, said Gates, Black people took English and reinvented it, to make it reflect their sensibilities and to make it mirror their cultural selves.
Webster’s New International Dictionary
In 1934, the New International Dictionary was revised and expanded for a second edition, which is popularly known as Webster’s Second or W2, although it was not published under that title. It was edited by William Allan Neilson and Thomas A. Knott. It contained 3350 pages and sold for $39.50 . Some versions added a 400-page supplement called A Reference History of the World, which provided chronologies “from earliest times to the present”. The editors claimed more than 600,000 entries, more than any other dictionary at that time, but that number included many proper names and newly added lists of undefined “combination words“. Multiple definitions of words are listed in chronological order, with the oldest, and often obsolete, usages listed first. For example, the first definition of starve includes dying of exposure to the elements as well as from lack of food.
The numerous picture plates added to the book’s appeal and usefulness, particularly when pertaining to things found in nature. Conversely, the plate showing the coins of the world’s important nations quickly proved to be ephemeral. Numerous gold coins from various important countries were included, including American eagles, at a time when it had recently become illegal for Americans to own them, and when most other countries had withdrawn gold from active circulation as well.
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Webster’s New International Dictionary 1909
The Merriam Company issued a complete revision in 1909, Webster’s New International Dictionary, edited by William Torrey Harris and F. Sturges Allen. Vastly expanded, it covered more than 400,000 entries, and double the number of illustrations. A new format feature, the divided page, was designed to save space by including a section of words below the line at the bottom of each page: six columns of very fine print, devoted to such items as rarely used, obsolete, and foreign words, abbreviations, and variant spellings. Notable improvement was made in the treatment and number of discriminated synonyms, comparisons of subtle shades of meaning. Also added was a twenty-page chart comparing the Webster’s pronunciations with those offered by six other major dictionaries. This edition was reprinted in 1913. Being in the public domain and having been scanned and OCRd, this edition has had substantial influence on Wiktionary.
Other Dictionaries With Webster’s Name
Noah Webster’s assistant, and later chief competitor, Joseph Emerson Worcester, and Webster’s son-in-law Chauncey A. Goodrich, published an abridgment of Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language in 1829, with the same number of words and Webster’s full definitions, but with truncated literary references and expanded etymology. Although it was more successful financially than the original 1828 edition and was reprinted many times, Noah Webster was critical of it. Worcester and Goodrich’s abridgment of Noah Webster’s dictionary was published in 1841 by White and Sheffield, printed by E. Sanderson in Elizabethtown, N.J. and again in 1844 by publishers Harper and Brothers of New York City, in 1844, with added words as an appendix.
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Noah Webster’s American Dictionary Of The English Language
Noah Webster , the author of the readers and spelling books which dominated the American market at the time, spent decades of research in compiling his dictionaries. His first dictionary, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, appeared in 1806. In it, he popularized features which would become a hallmark of American English spelling and included technical terms from the arts and sciences rather than confining his dictionary to literary words. Webster was a proponent of English spelling reform for reasons both philological and nationalistic. In A Companion to the American Revolution , John Algeo notes: “it is often assumed that characteristically American spellings were invented by Noah Webster. He was very influential in popularizing certain spellings in America, but he did not originate them. Rather he chose already existing options such as center, color and check on such grounds as simplicity, analogy or etymology”. In William Shakespeare‘s first folios, for example, spellings such as center and color are the most common. He spent the next two decades working to expand his dictionary.
What Will Be Recorded
The ODAAE will be based on examples of African American speech and writing spanning the history of AAE.
Alongside meaning, pronunciation, spelling, usage, and history, each entry will be illustrated by quotations taken from real examples of language in use. This will serve to acknowledge the contributions of African-American writers, thinkers, and artists, as well as everyday African Americans, to the evolution of the US English lexicon and the English lexicon as a whole.
The editing of the Oxford Dictionary of African American English will realize a dream Ive nurtured since I first studied the pages of Samuel Johnsons Dictionary of the English Language: to research and compile fully and systematically the richness of African American English, using the lexicographical tools and historical principles that the Oxford English Dictionary embodies, including examples of usage in Black literature and discourse from their earliest manifestations to the present. This massive project draws upon decades of scholarship from the most sophisticated linguists, especially those colleagues who have graciously joined this project as members of our advisory board, as well as the vast academic resources at Harvards Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, and the crowd-sourced contributions of speakers of African American English as well.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., Editor-in-Chief
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How To Break The Habit Of Using Hurtful Words
What is a word you would love to see included?
As a hip hop person, I go through the catalogue of words that rap artists have introduced into the lexicon.
I was thinking just the other day about one that I think people have forgotten actually originated in hip hop: bling. I think it lost a lot of its currency as hip hop slang pretty quickly after you had everybody’s grandma using the term. Now it’s settled into a space where if you say “bling” people know exactly what you’re talking about.
Now it’s just straight-up language. It’s in the dictionary, it’s in the Oxford English Dictionary, and you can find it everywhere.
Webster’s Third New International Dictionary
After about a decade of preparation, G. & C. Merriam issued the entirely new Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged in September 1961.
Although it was an unprecedented masterwork of scholarship, it was met with considerable criticism for its descriptive approach. The dictionary’s treatment of “ain’t” was subject to particular scorn, since it seemed to overrule the near-unanimous denunciation of that word by English teachers.
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An American Dictionary Of The English Language
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An American Dictionary of the English Language, , two-volume dictionary by the American lexicographer Noah Webster. He began work on it in 1807 and completed it in France and England in 182425, producing a two-volume lexicon containing 12,000 words and 30,000 to 40,000 definitions that had not appeared in any earlier dictionary. Because it was based on the principle that word usage should evolve from the spoken language, the work was attacked for its Americanism, or unconventional preferences in spelling and usage, as well as for its inclusion of nonliterary words, especially technical terms in the arts and sciences. Despite harsh criticism, the work sold out, 2,500 copies in the United States and 3,000 in England, in little over a year. It was relatively unpopular thereafter, however, despite the appearance of the second, corrected edition in 1840 and the rights were sold in 1843 by the Webster estate to George and Charles Merriam.
About The Oxford Dictionary Of African American English
An exciting project from the OED and Harvard Universitys Hutchins Center for African and African American Research is currently underway. Read more about the project below, or sign up to receive news as the project progresses.
At OUP were proud to be initiating this timely and important project with the team at Harvard. African American English has had a profound impact on the worlds most widely spoken language, yet much of it has been obscured. The ODAAE seeks to acknowledge this contribution more fully and formally and, in doing so, create a powerful tool for a new generation of researchers, students, and scholars to build a more accurate picture of how African American life has influenced how we speak, and therefore who we are.
Casper Grathwohl, President of Oxford Languages at Oxford University Press
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Essential American English Dictionary
The Cambridge Essential American English Dictionary is ideal for learners of English who want to build confidence in using an English-only dictionary. It has the words, phrases, and collocations that beginning learners of American English need to know, with easy-to-understand definitions and audio pronunciations, and thousands of carefully chosen example sentences from the Cambridge English Corpus.
Second And Later Editions
The first edition’s concise successor, The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition was published in 1982 . It omitted the Indo-European etymologies, but they were reintroduced in the third full edition, published in 1992. The third edition was also a departure for the publisher because it was developed in a database, which facilitated the use of the linguistic data for other applications, such as electronic dictionaries.
The fourth edition added an appendix of Semitic language etymological roots, and included color illustrations, and was also available with a CD-ROM edition in some versions. This revision was larger than a typical desk dictionary but smaller than Webster’s Third New International Dictionary or the unabridged Random House Dictionary of the English Language. A lower-priced college edition, also the fourth, was issued in black-and-white printing and with fewer illustrations, in 2002 .
The fifth and most recent full edition was published in November 2011, with new printings in 2012, 2016, and a 50th Anniversary Printing in 2018, which the publisher states is a “comprehensive update” of the 2011 edition, containing “… housands of revisions to definitions and etymologies, 150 new words and senses, and new usage advice ….”
The AHD inserts minor revisions in successive printings of any given edition.
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The American Heritage Dictionary Of The English Language
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language is an American dictionary of English published by Boston publisher Houghton Mifflin, the first edition of which appeared in 1969. Its creation was spurred by the controversy over the perceived permissiveness of the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. The third edition included over 350,000 entries and meanings.
Odaae Advisory Board Members
African-American English is the most interesting dialect of American English on all levels, and yet remains misunderstood by the public. Even specialists in it have a fascinating mountain of material still to examine. I would feel incomplete to not participate in this project
John McWhorter, Professor of Linguistics at Columbia University and advisory board member