The first book generally regarded as the first English dictionary was written as Robert Cawdrey, a schoolmaster and former Church of England clergyman, in 1604 Cawdrey made use of wordlists published earlier in educational texts, such as Richard Mulcaster’s Elementary (1582) and Edmund Coote’s English Schoole-maister ( …
Birth of the OED
It is difficult to imagine today that until the 19th century, English did not have a complete dictionary. The only one existing till then was the 1755 dictionary compiled and edited by Samuel Johnson.
It is this that makes today’s Google doodle is a bit ironical as it honours Samuel Johnson. Johnson is known as the father of the modern dictionary, on his 308th birthday. The British lexicographer published the Johnson’s: A Dictionary of the English Language in 1755.
|Title page from the second edition of the Dictionary|
As he wrote in the Plan, he proposed to write “a dictionary by which the pronunciation of our language may be fixed, and its attainment facilitated; by which its purity may be preserved, its use ascertained, and its duration lengthened.” Apprised of pure English by his Dictionary, Johnson’s readers should accept the …
The first English dictionary, A Table Alphabeticall, was compiled by English school teacher, Robert Cawdrey and published in London in 1604. … The primary focus of Cawdrey’s work were those words he thought of as ‘hard’ for the general public because they had foreign roots.
The cuneiform tablets of the Akkadian Empire are considered the oldest dictionaries. The tablets contain a bilingual list of the Sumerian-Akkadian words and were discovered around 2300 BCE in Elba, which is now modern day Syria.
Mother, bark and spit are just three of 23 words that researchers believe date back 15,000 years, making them the oldest known words.
The principal editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, James Murray was born the son of a tailor in Denholm, Scotland. At fourteen he began an intense regimen of self-education, showing intelligence and determination that later would see him through twenty-eight trying years of work on the Dictionary.
The word “dictionary” was invented by an Englishman called John of Garland in 1220 — he had written a book Dictionarius to help with Latin “diction”. An early non-alphabetical list of 8000 English words was the Elementarie, created by Richard Mulcaster in 1582.
|William Chester Minor|
|Born||June 22, 1834 Ceylon|
|Died||March 26, 1920 (aged 85) Hartford, Connecticut, United States|
|Alma mater||Yale University|
|Known for||Contributions to the Oxford English Dictionary|
The aardvark is not mythical, like the phoenix, since it really exists, but it has its own urban myth. Ask anyone which word comes first in an English dictionary, and they will assuredly answer “aardvark“.
|Sir James Murray|
|Born||James Murray7 February 1837 Denholm, Scottish Borders, United Kingdom|
|Died||26 July 1915 (aged 78) Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom|
|Occupation||Academic, lexicographer, philologist|
We’d like to take a moment to celebrate the man behind A Dictionary of the English Language, the first definitive English dictionary, the famous Samuel Johnson. A Dictionary of the English Language, also called Johnson’s Dictionary, was first published in 1775 and is viewed with reverence by modern lexicographers.
It took more than 70 years to complete the first edition of the OED. Originally, the Philological Society predicted that the dictionary would take about 10 years to complete. Twenty-seven years later, the editors had successfully reached the word ant.
February 1, 1884
Perhaps less known than his cousin, Sen. Daniel Webster, Noah Webster (1758–1843) nonetheless profoundly influenced the development of American national language and culture.
In 1801, Webster started working on defining the words that Americans use. He did this because Americans spoke and used words differently than the English, and to help people who lived in different parts of the country to speak and spell the same way.
Why did Johnson write his own dictionary? … According to the British Library, the publishers hoped the dictionary would stabilise the rules of the English language, but Johnson explained in his preface to the final work that language is constantly changing and not possible to “fix”.
OSCAR Wilde has been named as the “most quotable figure” in the history of the English language. The playwright takes top place on the list of the most memorable lines ever written or spoken in the latest edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations.
In 1807 Webster began compiling an expanded and fully comprehensive dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language; it took twenty-six years to complete.
|Editor||John Simpson and Edmund Weiner|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
That Tolkien considered his involvement in the compiling of the Oxford English Dictionary in 1919-20 to have been time well spent is shown by his observation that he “learned more in those two years than in any other equal period of my life” (quoted in Carpenter, 1977, p. 101).
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