Dictionaries


The New World of Words: Or, Universal English Dictionary. Compiled by Edward Phillips, Gent. Seventh edition, revised, corrected, and improved by J. K., Philobibl., 1720. Headwords in blackletter. —The basis of Bailey's, below.

Dictionarium Britannicum: Or a more Compleat Universal Etymological English Dictionary than any Extant.
—By N. Bailey, philologos. Second edition, 1736. Before Johnson's Dictionary, Bailey's was the best and most complete English dictionary available, and Johnson kept it by him as he assembled his own work. We do not know why the second and third editions were in print after the fifth edition had already been published.

Revis'd and Improv'd, 1730.

Fifth Edition, 1731 (a poor copy).

Second edition (one volume), 1736.

Third edition, 1737.

Eighth edition, 1737.

Walker's Pronouncing Dictionary
. —This book set the standard for English pronunciation for many years. Both English and American speakers regulated themselves by it, and Walker's pronunciations were incorporated into Worcester's successful and influential dictionary. A Victorian who pronounced the language according to Walker's could always be sure of being perfectly correct.

New York Stereotype Edition, 1823.

An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. By the Rev. Walter W. Skeat, M.A. Oxford, 1882. —Dr. Skeat was probably the greatest scholar in the history of English etymology, and in this dictionary he not only gives us the histories of English words but also shows his work, explaining in any doubtful case how he reached his conclusions.

First edition, 1882.

Second and revised edition, 1885.

Fourth edition, further revised, with enlarged supplement, 1896.
Another copy, dated 1898.

New edition, re-written and re-arranged, 1901.

An Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language. By John Jamieson, D.D. Edinburgh, 1808. —In effect a Scottish-English dictionary, the definitions being given in standard English.

Volume I.

Volume II.

Universal Pronouncing Dictionary of Biography and Mythology,
by J. Thomas, 1915 (the fourth edition). —This is the book you need when you want the real English pronunciations of foreign names like Haydn (pronounced Hā-dn rather than Hī-dn).

Volume 1

Volume 2