A List of Old and Middle English Dictionaries
A list compiled by Reinhard F. Hahn et al. on Lowlands-L website has been of particular use for this section.
Baker , Peter Stuart. “Glossary” Introduction to Old English . Blackwell Publishing, 2003, (ISBN 0631234535; 89 pages)
This modern-looking glossary is created with ease of use in mind, focusing on students with no previous linguistic training. It offers extensive cross-references and a list of all forms occurring in the texts covered by the book, while all the forms are provided with grammatical information and back references. The typography is excellent and the electronic version of the book including the glossary named Old English Aerobics is both helpful and freely available. See chapter 2.2.2 for more information about the electronic version.
Barney , S. A. et al. Word-Hoard: An introduction to Old English vocabulary . New Haven ( USA ): Yale University Press, 1985 (ISBN 0-300-03506-3; 2 nd edition 1985; 86 pages)
Inspired by Madden & Magoun (see below), the author lists related lexical groups by frequency, trying to cover 90% of the Old English poetic vocabulary in ca 2000 words and provide their basic etymologies. Though aimed at beginners, the level varies with entries including cognates and relevant phonetic phonological changes. Unfortunately, typos are frequent in the 1 st ed. (Ward 1978, 329-330) and problematic items are presented without any further comment (Hill 1978, 786), probably because the work is aimed at beginners.
Bessinger , Jess B. A Short Dictionary of Anglo-Saxon Poetry in a Normalized Early West-Saxon Orthography. Toronto : University of Toronto Press , 1960 (ISBN 0802011217; reprint 1961; 106 pages)
A dictionary of Old English verse in ca 5000 entries with definitions, basic grammatical information and frequency data based on Madden & Magoun (see below). There, however, the frequencies are based on word-groups whereas here they are indiscriminately and thus misleadingly applied to all words belonging to a particular group. The “presumed” words that in fact do not occur anywhere in the corpus of Old English verse are not distinguished from those that do. (Campbell 1962, 436-437)
Borden , Arthur R . A Comprehensive Old-English Dictionary . Washington , D.C. : University Press of America , 1982. (ISBN 0819122548; published also by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 1606 pages)
A work uncharacteristic for its period, Borden's dictionary is rather reminiscent of the early Anglo-Saxonists' effort. Borden's goal was to prepare a dictionary fit for students, but more extensive in its scope than Hall's and not as outdated as Bosworth's dictionary, but his approach was to compile all the words found in these well known dictionaries or in the more extensive glossaries with the addition of some new words from both prose and poetry. Although the author admits that his goal was to a large extent fulfilled by the publication of Merrit's edition of Hall in 1960, he held onto his project and after ca. 30 years of work published a work resembling a general glossary of Old English. It is a glossary rather than a dictionary, because it provides only basic grammatical information and brief, but numerous equivalents. This seems to suggest that Borden had translators rather than philologist on mind, but as the definitions are not analytical or explanatory and at the same time no references or citations are given, it is very difficult for a translator to choose from the list of possible equivalents, the only guide being the context of the translated text. This may be prove sufficient in shorter text, where the glossary can be specific, but in a general or even comprehensive (as the title claims) work is very unsatisfactory. The glossarial impression is also strengthened by the author's approach to prefixes and compounds that he always lists under the first elements, but does not give any hint of their status. Only the prefix “a-” is suggested by the dash, but the reason is that the typography of the book does not distinguish between “ae” and “ash” and this was felt as problematic in “a-” prefixed words beginning with “e” (and surprisingly not elsewhere). This strictly alphabetical ordering is very convenient for students, but it is marred by only occasional cross-references from variant spelling or dialectal forms, which are also hardly ever noted in the entries. The selection of headwords is at the same time very unpredictable – the author professes a preference for early West-Saxon forms in the beginning of the project, but also his later abandonment of the principle. The typography generally decreases the usefulness of the project. Only one typeface is used and as the indentation of the entries is rather illogical, the effect is not of a well-arranged space. The dictionary is a product of immense effort and a well meant resolve that resulted in a great wealth of material assembled into a form of a questionable usefulness. 1
Bosworth , Joseph. An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, based on the manuscript collections of the late Joseph Bosworth. Eds. T. Northcote Toller and Alistair Campbell. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1838-1972 (ISBN 0198631014; main volume as “ A Dictionary of the Anglo-Saxon Language ”, London: Longman, 1838; edited by Toller, 1882-1898; Toller's Supplement, 1921; reprinted 1966; Campbell's Enlarged Addenda and Corrigenda to the Supplement, 1972; 2069 pages)
< http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC01044234&id=YIALAAAAMAAJ > (1 st ed.)
< http://lexicon.ff.cuni.cz/texts/oe_bosworthtoller_about.html > (2 nd ed. & supplement)
The sheer span of its re-publication testifies to the longstanding primacy of the dictionary whose first appearance nearly 180 years ago was heralded as “to form an era in this study” (“Anglo-Saxon Literature” 92). Indeed, it was the first Old English dictionary to render its definitions in English (rather than Latin, though Somner's dictionary used both languages in many entries) and it has remained, through its re-edition and supplement by T.N. Toller and subsequent addenda and corrigenda by Alistair Campbell, the most complete work of Old English lexicography until today. However, the original Dictionary of Anglo-Saxon Language and the first two parts of its re-edition that were completed by Bosworth himself did not reflect most of the important development made in Anglo-Saxon studies during the 19 th century, especially in phonology (Garnett 1884, 359-361). Some of these deficiencies were subsequently remedied by Toller, the structure planned by Bosworth was altered and many words from prose were added by Toller himself, while he relied mostly on Grein to supply poetical expressions and the respective citations, but some outdated features were retained for the sake of consistency with the first two parts (Garnett 1898, 323-6). The main volume as such has not changed much since then, but citations from modern editions were added by Campbell in 1972 together with all words appearing in Clark-Hall's 3 rd edition and about 750 completely new words (Samuels 1974, 111). In its current state, after 1972 revision, this philological and translating dictionary offers detailed definitions, plentiful citations, basic grammar information, cognates and secondary references, but some of its assumptions may be outdated. Its structure is far from consistent and searching through its main volumes and two supplements may prove rather strenuous. See Chapter 3 for more detailed information.
Bosworth , Joseph. A Compendious Anglo-Saxon and English Dictionary . John Russell Smith, 1848 (reprinted 1852 and 1860; 280 pages)
An abridgement of the first edition of An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary , it suffers from the same deficiencies as the original unabridged dictionary from which it inherited its structure. It has been superseded in its function of a concise dictionary by later works (like that of Hall).
Bright , James W., “Glossary”, in Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader . Ed. Frederic G. Cassidy and Richard N. Ringler 3rd edition, Harcourt, 1891-1972 (ISBN 0030847133; reprinted 1894 1912, 1917, 1935, 1961, 1972 as “ Old English Grammar and Reader ”; ca 150 pages)
< http://www.archive.org/details/anglosaxonreader00briguoft >
Probably the second best-known of Old English reader's, Bright's Reader has come out second chronologically and has thus somewhat profited from the experience of Sweet's Reader. Bright's “Glossary” strives especially for ease of use. The various forms appear all under their respective lemmata and the cross-referencing is unfortunately not very extensive. Each entry lists the variant spellings and all the forms occurring in the Reader with references and related grammatical information. Sometimes a specific meaning is provided with particular form on top of the general definition (Gummere 1892, 149-151). In the latest edition, the inflectional variants & spellings together with the grammatical information for each form have been omitted and replaced by a more thorough cross-referencing. Including both cross-references and variant forms might have perhaps increased the volume of the book, but could have proved quite helpful, especially to the beginners. Other readers with glossaries include works by Corson, Diamond, Leo, Mitchell, Sweet and Wyatt. More information about an electronic version of the glossary may be found in chapter 2.2.1.
Bouterwek , Karl Wilhelm. Ein Angelsächsisches Glossar: Caedmon's des Angelsachsen biblische Dichtungen . 2 vols. Julius Bädeker, 1850, 1854 (ISBN 3253019985; reprinted by Sändig Reprint Verlag 1968; 393 pages)
< http://www.archive.org/details/caedmonsdesangel01caeduoft >
An Old English–Latin glossary based on Caedmon's poetry, it is, thanks to its thoroughness and size, of a more universal use – especially in Old English poetry. The second volume containing the glossary gives Latin equivalents with occasional explanations in German, basic grammatical information, variant spellings and short quotations with references to all forms. The vowel length is marked by circumflex and the “length” of diphthongs is marked over the second. A special feature of the glossary is a reverse Latin–Old English list and an index.
Corson , Hiram. “Glossary” in Hand-book of Anglo-Saxon and Early English . New York : Holt & Williams, 1871, pp. 329-493
< http://www.archive.org/details/handbookofanglos00corsuoft >
The Glossary of the first reader to cover both Old (Anglo-Saxon) and Middle English (Early English) periods brings the vocabulary of both periods under one list, but marks Old English or “pure Anglo-Saxon words” (330) to distinguish them from the later innovations. Irregular or hard-to-derive forms are only occasionally cross-referenced, but certain forms of verbs are given under the main entry even when they do not occur in the covered texts; references to the texts seem a bit random. Eth, thorn and yogh come surprisingly at the end of the alphabet, while ash comes (similarly to Bosworth) between “ad-” and “af-”. Forms prefixed by “ge-” appear under their stems only. Compounds are occasionally explained Equivalents and basic grammar are given with sporadic explanation (Fisher et al. 1878, 552). Other readers with glossaries include works by Bright, Diamond, Leo, Mitchell, Sweet and Wyatt.
Diamond , Robert E. “Glossary” Old English Grammar and Reader . Wayne State University Press, 1970, (ISBN: 0814315100; pp. 207-300)
An approachable glossary with normalized spelling and plentiful cross-referencing that does not expect nearly any previous knowledge of Old English grammar or phonology. Modern English equivalents and basic grammatical information are provided. The fact that all texts in the reader are provided with mirror-translations may slightly hamper the usefulness of the glossary though (Wilson 1970, 62-3). Other readers with glossaries include works by Bright, Corson, Leo, Mitchell, Sweet and Wyatt.
Ettmüller , Ludwig. Vorda Vaelhstôd Engla and Seaxna. Lexicon Anglosaxonicum Ex Poetarum Scriptorumque Prosaicorum Operibus Nec Non Lexicis Anglosaxonicis Collectum, Cum Synopsi Grammatica . Quedlinburg and Leipzig : Gottfried Basse / London : Willaims & Norgate, 1851 (reprinted Rodopi, 1968; 767 pages)
Old English poetic and prosaic Lexicon with equivalents and comments in Latin.
Grein , C. W. M. Sprachschatz der angelsächsischen Dichter . Cassel & Göttingen: Georg H. Wigand, 1861-4 (ISBN 3-8253-2324-2; reprint by Carl Winter Verlag 1974; 1342 pages)
< http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC13978151 >
The most detailed description of Old English poetic vocabulary, Grein's work may be antiquated today (similarly to the 1 st edition of Bosworth), but in its days it was plundered by many Old English lexicographers. Not only had Grein's work supplied many words and citations to Toller's edition of Bosworth or Hall's dictionary, its abridgement has been published by Groschopp and this abridgement has been enlarged again, translated to English, and published again by Harrison & Baskervill. Its value for other lexicographers principally stems (apart from its volume) from its extensive citations and references. To these Grein added references to other modern works, Latin equivalents, extensive comments in German, basic grammar, spelling variants and, occasionally, old or modern cognates. The main aspect of the work being philological, the compounds are marked, and words are listed according to their real occurrence, so that, for example, words prefixed by “ge-” are listed with it as well as without – if they so occur. Interestingly, “yoghs” are transcribed with “v” and ashes by “ä” (similarly to Leo).
Groschopp , Friedrich. Kleines Angelsächsisches Wörterbuch von C. W. M. Grein. Nach Grein's Sprachschatz der Angelsächsischen Dichter . Cassel & Göttingen: Georg H. Wigand, 1883
This abridgement of Grein's is little more than a wordlist as all citations and comments were left out – the result being more or less a wordlist with equivalents in Latin or German.
Griffiths , Bill. A User-friendly Dictionary of Old English . Loughborough : Heart of Albion Press, 1989 (ISBN 978-1872883854; 3 rd ed. 1993, repr. 1995, 97, 4 th ed. 2002, repr. 2004, 5 th ed. 2005; 116 pages)
This thin volume is hardly more than a wordlist giving mostly one-word Modern English equivalents with a very simplified one page grammar introduction. The grammatical information provided with each word is also reduced to minimum. Paradoxically, two classes of weak verbs are distinguished, but strong classes are not – those strong verbs that appear in the word list are listed in a specific tense and inflected (thus “wesan” is not listed, but “wæs” is). An interesting feature is the ordering – the 3,500 most common forms constituting the dictionary are listed according to their consonants, disregarding the vowels. The list is divided by headings with particular consonant and vowel positions indicated by asterisk. “wæs” can thus be found under “W*S” heading, “bēon” under “B*N”. The author defends his system on the grounds of the unpredictability of Old English vowels, but the real practicality of this system may seem doubtful. Beginners, for whom the book is intended, may feel rather daunted by this unusual system.
Hall , John Richard Clark. A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary . Ed. Herbert D. Meritt. Toronto : University of Toronto Press , 1894-1984 (ISBN 0802065481; 2 nd ed. revised 1916, 3 rd ed. revised & enlarged 1931, 4 th ed. supplement by Merrit 1960, reprinted 1984; 432 pages)
< http://lexicon.ff.cuni.cz/texts/oe_clarkhall_about.html >
Probably the most popular dictionary with the students of Old English, the Concise Dictionary tries to balance its practical usability and accessibility with exhaustiveness, standing thus halfway between the exhaustive but cumbersome Bosworth-Toller and the smaller Sweet's Student ' s Dictionary or the antiquated Bosworth's Compendious Dictionary . All the effort has been concentrated on the goal of making a translating dictionary for students – all forms of strong verbs, irregular weak verbs and some variant spellings are cross-referenced, variant spellings are listed with the main form, basic grammatical information, short definition and references to the sources (not quotations) are provided. Compounds' division is unmarked (though prefixes are), neither grammar nor phonology is explained to any depth, though useful references are made to secondary works. Etymology is not given except for occasional etymological equivalent or cognate (Garnet 1898, 326-7) but the second edition introduced references to NED 2 entries (Knott 1917, 64). Hall was the first one to introduce macrons over the first element to mark “long” diphthongs. Also, the dictionary follows a strict alphabetical order (though words prefixed by “ge-” appear under their respective stems, if so attested), placing “ash” as “ae” and recognizing “eth” (used indiscriminately for both original eths and thorns) as an individual letter after “t”. Problematic from the user's point of view is Hall's spelling normalization – all forms are normalized, but only if the resulting form is attested (Chase 1895, 50-2). The third and fourth edition revised the definitions and added new words, notably the 12 th century words in the 3 rd edition (Magoun 1932, 287). Unfortunately, changes & additions in the fourth edition are not incorporated into the main body of the dictionary (Campbell 1962, 436). See Chapter 3 for more information.
Harrison , James Albert and William Malone Baskervill. A Handy Anglo-Saxon Dictionary: Based on Groschopp's Grein . New York & Chicago : A. S. Barnes & Co., 1885 (317 pages)
This English translation of Groschopp's Grein added cognates in a slightly random fashion to supply some etymological information, because original Grein's cognates were deleted by Groschopp. Modern English derivatives were marked by special type to facilitate the use of the dictionary for students. Unfortunately, the wordlist itself had not been seriously revised so that words had been preserved that by then proved not to exist (like fictitious infinitives) or to exist with different spelling; the marking of long diphthongs had been corrected only inconsistently. (Bright 1885, 493-5)
Holthausen , Ferdinand); Altenglisches etymologisches Wörterbuch . Heidelberg : Carl Winter Universitätsbuchhandlung, 1932-4 (ISBN 3825305082; 2 nd ed. 1968; reprinted 1974; 428 pages)
Wordlist giving Old Germanic cognates (esp. High German), etymological cognates in Modern English and German translations & comments of normalised Old English words collected mainly from Hall's dictionary. No further etymologies are given, but references are provided esp. to Walde-Pokorny 3. Proper names are usually included, but no detailed explanations are given; occasionally, modern equivalents are offered (Magoun 1933, 94-6). The lexicon is mainly philological and features no extensive cross-references, compounds are listed under the second element only (C.L.W. 1934, 242-4) and only sparse grammatical information is provided. This approach saves space but may make locating specific items rather difficult.
Jember , Gregory K, John C. Carrell , Robert P. Lundquist , Barbara M. Olds , Raymond P. Tripp , Jr. English-Old English, Old English-English Dictionary . Boulder Col. : Westview Press, 1975-1984 (ISBN 0891580069; 4 editions; 178 pages)
Jember et al. aimed to provide a production dictionary for students of Old English. Therefore, they provide both English and Old English wordlists with equivalents – the Old English words come with simplified spelling, compounds translated by their parts and lists of affixes with their functions. In this way, the authors try to provoke students' creativity in Old English. Also, they provide examples of words not appearing in the existing corpus, which, together with the fact that they decided to ignore vowel length and explain the basic grammar in a dangerously generalised way (Mitchell 1982, 48), urges cautious usage of the dictionary. Other dictionaries with Old English as their target language are those of Skeat and Pollington.
Leo , Heinrich. Angelsächsisches Glossar . Ed. Walther Biszegger. Halle : Verlag der Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses, 1872-7 (732 pages)
An enlarged wordlist built upon a similar system to the earlier Sprachproben's Erklärenden (see below) with added references and supplemented by an alphabetical index by Biszegger to facilitate searching.
Leo , Heinrich. Altsächsische und Angelsächsische Sprachproben Herausgegeben und mit einem erklärenden Verzeichniss der Angelsächsischen Wörter versehen . Halle : Eduard Anton, 1838, pp. 95-274
< http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC02995996 >
Leo's Erklärenden is a glossary to his Old English and Old Saxon reader, but lists only Old English vocabulary with German translations, comments and basic grammar. The wordlist is arranged according to Grimm's vowel system, which makes it an interesting philological resource, but a very difficult dictionary to search. A similar diacritic system is used by Grein. Other readers with glossaries include works by Bright, Corson, Diamond, Mitchell, Sweet and Wyatt.
Lehnert , Martin. Poetry and Prose of the Anglo-Saxons: Dictionary . Berlin : VEB Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften; London : Bailey & Swinfen, 1956 (2 nd ed. 1960, repr. 1969; 250 pages)
Though a separate title, the Dictionary is in fact a glossary to the first volume of Lehnert's reader. It provides detailed grammatical information and cross-references, but both inconsistently. Definitions are by equivalent or analytical description, sometimes the usage is exemplified, but neither quotations nor references to the source texts of the first volume are provided. Occasionally, notes are incorporated to give additional comments on the concepts described and an unusual number of etymons is supplied with most entries (Woolf 1956, 766-9).
Lye , Edward. Dictionarium Saxonico et Gothico-Latinum . Ed. Owen Manning. 2 vols. London : Ed. Allen, 1772 (478 & 741 pages)
available through ECCO 4 < http://www.gale.com/EighteenthCentury/ >
Lye's Dictionarium published posthumously by Manning (ironically drawing on Lye's posthumous edition of Junius's Etymologicum 5) is an exceptionally detailed collection of Old English and Gothic vocabulary with exhaustive quotations, Latin translations & comments and occasional Modern English cognates. In its detail, it is the first work of its kind fully replacing Somner's work and superseded only by Bosworth's dictionary whose base it forms (Birrell 1966, 111). A notable feature is its use of many typographical features in several delicate and cleverly employed fonts. Obviously, the date of its publication renders the work outdated for most uses.
Madden , J. F., and F. P. Magoun . A Grouped Frequency Word-List of Anglo-Saxon Poetry . Harvard University Press, 1954-1967 (ISBN 0674364007; 63 pages)
A short work that has, however, inspired several other authors including Bessinger, Barney and possibly Jember 6. The words are glossed in Modern English and arranged into related groups; the groups are listed by frequency (aggregate frequency of the words belonging to the group) to facilitate learning of new vocabulary for beginners. (Orrick 1955, 438)
Mitchell , Bruce and Fred Colson Robinson . “Glossary” A Guide to Old English . Blackwell Publishing, 1964-2001, pp. 317-391 (ISBN 0631226362; 7 th revised ed.)
A simple index of older editions of the Guide has been replaced by a detailed glossary by Robinson since the 5 th edition of 1982 (Stanley 1985, 141). It is intended for beginners and has thus striven from the beginning for ease of use with “heavy parsing of words recorded” (vii), great detail in translation & grammar and intensive cross-referencing. In earlier editions it was troubled by unsystematic references and inclusion of proper nouns as well as typos (Calder 1984, 418-9) – these were mostly corrected in later editions and the glossary is now one of the most user-friendly to be met in Old English readers. Other readers with glossaries include works by Bright, Corson, Diamond, Leo, Sweet and Wyatt.
Pollington , S. Wordcraft: Wordhoard and Wordlists. Concise dictionary and thesaurus Modern English-Old English . Norfolk : Anglo-Saxon Books, 1993-9. (ISBN 1898281025; 240 pages)
Divided into two sections, Pollington's Wordcraft aims at production in Old English and learning basic vocabulary. Its first part is a very concise Modern-Old English dictionary cross-referenced with the second section, which forms a thesaurus of kinds, as the words are grouped into very general thematic units (arts, religion, society, emotions, etc.). It may be helpful to beginners or people writing in Old English. Similar works are those by Jember and Skeat.
Roberts , Jane, Christian Kay, and Lynne Grundy. A Thesaurus of Old English . 2 vols. King's College London Medieval Studies X, 1995 (ISBN 9042015632; 2 nd ed. by Rodopi, 2000; 1555 PAGES)
A first comprehensive thesaurus of Old English, the TOE was designed as a part of a larger Historical Thesaurus of English (still under way) and is based on the dictionaries of Hall and Bosworth-Toller. It can serve as a simple tool for finding synonyms and connotations, but its use for research may be much broader, as the thesaurus indicates meronyms & hyponyms and marks infrequent words or words occurring only in poetry or glossaries (Conner 1998, 889). Its classification is not particular to Old English, thus it will be possible to view movements in semantic fields once the thesauri of other periods are finished. Unfortunately, no translation or gloss is provided so that beginners in Old English may need to use a separate dictionary, but searching for Old English forms is facilitated by an alphabetical index. See chapter 2.2.1 for information about the electronic version.
Skeat , Walter W. English – Anglo-Saxon Vocabulary . Cambridge : University Press, 1879 (ISBN 0948565683 / 0948565685; centenary ed. 1935, reprint Cyhoeddwr: Joseph Biddulph, 1990; 40 pages)
A simple reverse wordlist based on Sweet's Glossary in his Anglo-Saxon Reader and on his History of English Sounds . It is probably the first and very brief reverse wordlist of Old English. Other reverse wordlists include Pollington's and Jember's dictionaries.
Somner , William. Dictionarium Saxonico-Latino-Anglicum . Oxford : William Hall, 1659 (abridg. by Thomas Benson as Vocabularium Anglo-Saxonicum , S. Smith & B. Walford, 1701; 228 pages)
Available through EEBO 7 < http://eebo.chadwyck.com/ >
Benson's Abridgement < http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC01421828 >
Though often called the first Old English dictionary, Somner's Dictionarium is more specifically the first published dictionary, drawing heavily on works of many of the early Anglo-Saxonists like Nowell, Parker, Joscelyn, Dugdale, Junius or D'Ewes. Because of the medley of its sources, its entries give a rather inconsistent impression and as the understanding of Old English poetry was not, at the time, quite advanced yet, the dictionary does not include many poetic terms. It is quite significant for the further development of Old English lexicography that its first product is rather a students' than a philological dictionary. A more detailed description of the early unpublished dictionaries may be found in M. S. Hetherington's paper.
Sweet , Henry. “Glossary” in An Anglo-Saxon Reader in Prose and Verse: With Grammar, Metre, Notes and Glossary . Eds. C. T. Onions (9.-14. eds.), Dorothy Whitelock (15. ed.). Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1876-2005 (ISBN 019811169X; revised 15 th ed. 1975; 418 pages)
The first and the best-known Old English reader has gone through 15 editions since its publication. So good was Sweet's initial work or so great is the reverence for his person that the work has not changed dramatically since his early editions. In the reader itself, few texts have been replaced and the few corresponding entries in the glossary followed. Some spelling conventions changed, definitions were perfected and additional cross-references supplied (Brook 1949, 283), but Sweet's intention (after he published his Primer ) that the reader is not intended for beginners (Garnett 1883, 332) has been respected by the later editors (though not necessarily by teachers). Thus cross-referencing is limited to forms unpredictable from sound knowledge of grammar, but the grammatical introduction itself has disappeared. Headwords are not normalized, in fact, the normalized variants that do not occur in the reader, but were included in the Glossary by Sweet, were left out of the Glossary by later editors. Grammatical information is provided, but user-friendliness does not seem to be very much aimed at, therefore only irregular or strong verbs are marked while adjectives and pronouns are not marked at all. The reader and the glossary remain a standard work that may reflect development in Old English scholarship, but it does not much reflect the change in users' needs (Mitchell 1968, 415-6). Other readers with glossaries include works by Bright, Corson, Diamond, Leo, Mitchell and Wyatt.
Sweet , Henry. “Glossary” in The Oldest English Texts . London : Early English Text Society os 83, 1885, pp. 461-652 (ISBN: 978-0197220832; repr. 1938, 1957, 1966, 1978, 1985; corrected by Collins 1963?)
Because the texts included in the OET are mostly early Old English glossaries and charters, the edition is from beginning aimed at advanced readers. Therefore the main purpose of the glossary is rather to be an aid in linguistic research than a translator's tool. The arrangement is thus similar to the one in Sweet's History of English Sounds (see above) – the words are listed according to their root vowels, possibly under the oldest one (if there are variants). Compounds are listed under the second element, but for variants of the first, one has to look in its independent entry. Cross-references are generally not provided. Each entry comprises of grammatical information (though not for all forms), Modern English equivalent and Latin equivalent if the source is a Latin gloss. The source references are usually exhaustive. The glossary is followed by a proper name index and an alphabetical index “of the roughest character” (vii) to facilitate searching to some degree.
Sweet , Henry. The Student's Dictionary of Anglo-Saxon; London : The Macmillan Company, 1897 (ISBN 0198631073 / 1904799094; repr. Oxford University Press, 1920-1978 and Tiger of the Stripe, 2006, 217 pages)
A general student dictionary of Old English. Sweet is more concise than Hall and strives for clarity rather than deepness – he condemns etymological translation and use of modern cognates if their meaning has shifted or they are non-standard, giving usually only a single equivalent. There are no references in Sweet's dictionary, but example sentences (of an unknown origin) are provided (Garnett 1898, 327). Grammatical information is given, but not altogether consistently (e.g. gender) and prefixed words are usually to be found under the stem, even when the word without the prefix is unattested. The number of words is ca ¾ of those in Hall's dictionary.
Sweet , Henry. “Wordlists” in A History of English Sounds from the Earliest Period, with full word-lists . Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1888, pp. 279-400
< http://www.archive.org/details/historyofenglish00sweeuoft >
Two wordlists and an index to the first one were added by Sweet to his History as a comprehensive overview of the described sound changes. In both lists the words are arranged by the pronunciation of the vowels: in the first list by the original Old English pronunciation with the Old, Middle, Modern and occasional variant spellings, in the second list by the Modern pronunciation. The alphabetical index should facilitate finding a Modern English word in the first list.
Wright , Thomas. Anglo-Saxon and Old English Vocabularies . 2. vols. Ed. Richard Paul Wülker. London : Trübner, 1884 (first volume as A Volume of Vocabularies , 1857; pages 452&500)
< http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=wright%20vocabularies >
A collection of Old and Middle English (here called Anglo-Saxon and Old English) vocabularies and glossaries with Old English, Middle English and Latin indexes. Wright assembled the vocabularies, added his commentaries and references, compiled an Old English subject index and published the volume as A Volume of Vocabularies in 1857. Wülker changed Wright's selection and compiled new alphabetical indexes while adding his own comments and additional references.
Wyatt , Alfred John. “Glossary” in An Anglo-Saxon Reader With Notes and Glossary . Cambridge : The Cambridge University Press, 1919, pp. 284-360
< http://www.archive.org/details/anglosaxonreader00wyatuoft >
A glossary to Wyatt's reader, listing only variants occurring in the reader itself. Headwords are the “best” variants, but the others are listed and cross-referenced. The cross-references are not used where knowledge of grammar should suffice to locate the word though. Modern English glosses are given, but not to particular occurrences. Phrases deemed to convey “oneness of notion” (viii) are compounded and glossed as a single word. Grammatical information is provided and each part of speech (of a word) has a separate entry (Wardale 1919, 34). Other readers with glossaries include works by Bright, Corson, Diamond, Leo and Mitchell.
Brandl , Alois and O. Zippel . Mittelenglische Sprach- und Literaturproben. Ersatz fur Mätzners Altenglische Sprachproben. Mit etymologischen Wörterbuch zugleich für Chaucer . Berlin : Weidmann, 1917, pp. 256-420 (2 nd ed. 1927)
A new version of Mätzner's reader and glossary aimed at beginners, especially at readers of Chaucer. Equivalents are given in German and Modern English together with etymons. Other readers with glossaries include works by Burrow, Corson, Davis , Dickins, Emerson, Morris, Mossé and Tolkien.
Burrow , John Anthony and Thorlac Turville-Petre . “Glossary” A Book of Middle English . Blackwell Publishing, 1992-2004, pp. 322-373 (ISBN 9781405117081, 2 nd ed. 2001, 3 rd ed. 2004)
Though Borrow & Turville-Petre follow the design of Mitchell's Guide, they do not presume any knowledge of Old English. The glossary provides only very basic etymological information in the form of an etymon, but otherwise no knowledge of etymology and nearly no knowledge of grammar is required to locate entries. Not only are variant spellings well cross-referenced but when the reference would send the user searching too far, the variant is glossed separately. All forms occurring in the texts covered are fully back-referenced together with grammatical information. Separate glosses are also provided to possibly confusing forms. The overall arrangement together with lucid typography makes for a remarkably easy-to-use glossary (Nicholson 1994, 115-7 & Jacobs 545-7). Other readers with glossaries include works by Brandl, Corson, Davis, Emerson, Dickins, Morris, Mossé and Tolkien.
Corson , Hiram. “Glossary” in Hand-book of Anglo-Saxon and Early English.
see under Old English
Coleridge , Herbert. A glossarial index to the printed English literature of the thirteenth century. London : Trübner, 1859 (200 pages)
< http://www.archive.org/details/glossarialindext00coleuoft >
The Glossarial index seems to be a book of double purpose. Firstly, it is a preparatory step for the NED (Coleridge was to be its first editor) serving both as a manual for other collectors and as a database of 13 th century lexical material; secondly, it also served as a basis for the following title (see below). While this one gives all the words found in the literature of the 13 th century by their Modern English equivalents, the Dictionary is its opposite. Thus they complement each other as a reverse dictionary. Their entries are brief, with only the equivalent, part of speech tag, reference to the source text and sometimes etymological cognates included.
Coleridge , Herbert . A dictionary of the first, or oldest words in the English language : from the semi-Saxon period of A.D.1250 to 1300 : consisting of an alphabetical inventory of every word found in the printed English literature of the 13th century . London : J. C. Hotten, 1862 (repr. 1975)
see the above title
Davis , Norman . “Glossary” in Early Middle English Verse and Prose . Ed. J. A. W. Bennett and G. V. Smithers. Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1966-8, pp. 431-614 (ISBN 0198711018; 2 nd ed. 1968, repr. 1974, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991)
An exhaustive glossary with rich grammatical information, extensive cross-references, Modern English equivalents for each from of a different meaning and with etymons. The most common forms are used as headwords followed by all variants occurring in the text, while “theoretical” forms are avoided. Compounds are usually treated under the first element, where both elements are explained (d'Ardenne 1968, 183). Other readers with glossaries include works by Brandl, Burrow, Corson, Dickins, Emerson, Morris, Mossé and Tolkien.
Dickins , Bruce and R. M. Wilson . “Glossary” in Early Middle English Texts . New York : W. W. Norton & Co., 1951, pp. 243-330 (ISBN 978-0370001487; repr. 1952-61)
The Glossary covers all the forms appearing in the texts. Each form is provided with grammatical information (part of speech is indicated by superscript numbers), Modern English equivalent and a back-reference with occasional exemplifying quotations. The forms are grouped under their head-forms on an etymological basis, so that similar forms with differing etymologies are treated separately. Where possible, the etymon is given in the most representative form and in problematic entries, readers are referred to the NED . The order is alphabetical with initial ash following “ad”, yogh following “g” and thorn & eth following “t”, while, for some reason, thorn & eth in the medial position follow “t+yogh”. Compounds are usually treated under the first element and cross-references abound (Macdonald 1953, 404 & Einarsson 1953, 575-6).
Emerson , Oliver Farrar. “Glossary” in A Middle English Reader . 1905, pp. 319-478 (ISBN 978-0404147846; 2 nd ed 1915, repr. 1916-1978)
A glossary with incorporated list of proper nouns. “Normal” forms are used as headwords, prefixed forms and variant spellings are usually cross-referenced. A Modern English gloss, references and grammatical information are provided with each headword and most of the forms. An interesting feature is placing an initial ash & eth normally after “t”, but a medial one after “tg”, while an initial yogh before “i”, but a medial one after “f” with “g”. Diacritics used are also notable for its use of “hacek” to denote palatalization of “c” and “g”, but only in ambiguous cases, which may prove confusing. Other readers with glossaries include works by Brandl, Burrow, Corson, Davis , Dickins, Morris, Mossé and Tolkien.
Lewis, Robert E. (editor-in-chief), Middle English Dictionary . 118 vols. Michigan : The University of Michigan Press, 1951-2001 (ca. 15 000 pages)
A comprehensive dictionary of Middle English was continually published from 1951 to 2001, but its preparations started decades earlier and through the existence of the project, several editors-in-chief directed it, namely C. S. Northup (at Cornell University ), S. Moore (from now at the University of Michigan ), T. A. Knott, H. Kurath and finally R. E. Lewis. The principle of the dictionary is similar to that of NED or OED 8 in that respect that it builds upon a great number of quotations gathered from many volunteering scholars around the world. Its many entries have a clear and uniform structure. The normalized headword with a part of speech tag is followed by few selected variants (the selection has apparently been made upon other grounds than frequency), etymology and groups of definitions followed by quotations. Definitions are analytical or by equivalent and make use of usage labels. Quotation is provided for every meaning together with the name of the source manuscript, an approximate dating of the source (of manuscript, composition, or both) and a unique number (Malone 1953, 204-8 & Mc Sparran 2006, “ MEC Help Page”). See chapter 3 for a more detailed description and section 2.2 for the description of the related Middle English Compendium .
Mätzner , Edward Adolf Ferdinand, “Wörterbuch” in Altenglische Sprachproben . Ed. Karl Goldbeck. Berlin : Wiedmann, 1867
See Brandl & Zippel above
Mayhew , Anthony Lawson, Skeat , Walter W. A Concise Dictionary of Middle English, from 1150 – 1580 . Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1888 (ISBN 978-1419100703; repr. 1977, 2004; 812 pages)
< http://library.case.edu/ksl/ecoll/books/maycon00/maycon00.html >
The dictionary lists all words contained in the Clarendon's Press Middle English series up to 1888 to which the references are usually given. Modern English equivalents, basic grammatical information, variants, etymons and references to other works (esp. NED ) are provided. The small amount of source texts seems to be the main limitation of this work, making it more of a glossary to the Clarendon series than a general dictionary (J. M. G. 1889, 90). See chapter 3 for a more detailed description.
Morris , Richard and Walter W. Skeat . “Glossarial indexes” in Specimens of Early English . 2 vols. Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1882-1894, vol. I. 365-554 pp., 355-489 pp. (1 st ed. 1872, 2 nd ed. 1887, 3 rd ed. 1894, 4 th ed. 1897)
< http://www.archive.org/details/specimensofearly01morruoft > vol. I.
< http://www.archive.org/details/specimensofearly00morruoft > vol. II.
Replacing the previous work by Morris, 9 the two volumes cover a selection of texts from the periods of 1150-1300 (vol. I.) and 1298-1393 (vol. II.) each with a separate glossary. Both glossaries give headwords alphabetically and for every entry a speech tag with concise grammatical information is provided and a Modern English gloss accompanied by a back reference is given for each form occurring in the text. Most entries are also provided with etymological cognates (Egge 1886, 65-8 and Browne 1892, 133-4). Other readers with glossaries include works by Brandl, Burrow, Corson, Davis , Dickins, Emerson, Mossé and Tolkien.
Mossé , Fernand. “Glossary” in A Handbook of Middle English . Transl. James A. Walker. Baltimore : The Johns Hopkins Press, 1952, pp. 423-495
Only the second volume of the French Manuel has been translated into English and the translation, though satisfactory, is easily detectable (Wilson 1954, 107). The glossary, following an index of proper names, is quite simple, giving all forms occurring in the texts with generous cross-referencing, part of speech tags, back references and Modern English equivalents. Occasionally, etymological cognates are also provided, but this is mostly unnecessary as the author developed an intricate system of referencing to OED (422). The translator introduced a system of diacritics into the glossary, though the texts are not marked this way. This step may have been unnecessary (Eliason 1954, 135-8), especially when the translator himself warns about the uncertainty of Middle English pronunciation (422). Other readers with glossaries include works by Brandl, Burrow, Corson, Davis , Dickins, Emerson, Morris and Tolkien.
Stratmann , Francis Henry and Rev. Henry Bradley . A Middle English Dictionary, Containing Words Used by English Writers from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Century . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1891 (ISBN 978-0198631064; repr. 1940, ‘51, ‘54, ‘58, ‘63, ‘67, ‘74, ‘78, 2003; 732 pages)
The structure of the dictionary can be well shown by comparing the original Stratmann's A dictionary of the Old English language 10with the new revised version by Bradley. The original had an alphabetical structure but the headwords were often not the Middle English forms, but rather its etymons; moreover, compounds (even opaque ones) were to be found under their first element. Thus the user had to know the structure and etymology of the word before looking it up. However, the compounds listed as subentries followed an etymological order rather than an alphabetical one. Furthermore, etymologically related words that were separated in Middle English were still treated under the same entry. The definitions were not always in Modern English, but sometimes only in Latin or they might not have been given at all. Even if Modern English was used, the definitions mostly comprised of cognates that were often obscure or misleading. No information on parts of speech was provided and vowel quantity was marked only for Old English cognates. Bradley added many words, especially those of Romance origin, and provided more sources, corrected the entries, restructured the dictionary under a strictly alphabetical order (putting all transparent compounds under their second element), and provided some cross-references. He also added parts of speech tags, Modern English definitions where they were missing (revising the problematic ones) and introduced diacritic marking. The character of the dictionary had thus changed from a hard-to-use etymological dictionary into a more user-friendly comprehensive one (Garnett 1891, 90-2). See chapter 3 for a more detailed description.
Tolkien , J. R. R. A Middle English Vocabulary, designed for use with Sisam's Fourteenth Century Verse & Prose. Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1922
< http://www.archive.org/details/middleenglishvoc00tolkuoft >
In later editions a part of Sisam's reader, Tolkien's glossary is a well-prepared aid for student readers – its aim being not to record obscure words and meanings or trace their etymology, but to help with the most common vocabulary of the texts covered. Special attention is thus paid to parts of speech that are usually neglected, such as prepositions or conjunctions, which the reader may often pass unaware of their exact meaning. The entries are listed in a strictly alphabetical order with extensive cross-references to variant spellings or unusual forms. Entries provide full grammatical information, detailed translation and back references to each form with occasional quotations to support the definition. The etymological cognates are listed and reference to NED is given where etymology is more complex. The level of user-friendliness is at least comparable to modern glossaries (Wardale 1920, 42-43). Other readers with glossaries include works by Brandl, Burrow, Corson, Davis , Dickins, Emerson, Morris and Mossé.
Wright , Thomas. Anglo-Saxon and Old English Vocabularies . – see under Old English
A description of the dictionary structure may be found above; only the features characteristic of the electronic versions are noted here.
Bosworth , Joseph. An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, based on the manuscript collections of the late Joseph Bosworth. Eds. T. Northcote Toller and Alistair Campbell. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1838-1972
< http://lexicon.ff.cuni.cz/texts/oe_bosworthtoller_about.html >
Digitized by Sean Crist et al. under Joel Dean grant together with a team lead by Jan Čermák under John Hus Educational Foundation grant between 2001-2007. Currently the project is in its final stages: the text of the dictionary has been scanned, OCRed, hand-corrected and published either to be viewed online with a simple search facility or downloaded with a special application designed to browse and search the dictionary offline. More information about this project may be found in subsequent chapters.
Bright , James W., “Glossary”, in Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader . Ed. Frederic G. Cassidy and Richard N. Ringler 3rd edition, Harcourt, 1891-1972
< http://lexicon.ff.cuni.cz/texts/oe_bright_about.html >
Digitized by Sean Crist et al. as a second text of the Germanic Lexicon Project between 1999-2003. The text of the glossary was manually typed in by the volunteers, the rest of the reader was scanned and OCRed. The resulting text of the glossary was automatically parsed producing an XML output followed by an easy-to-use HTML version, which is now available to read & search through an ordinary web browser. The text of the glossary is not included in the GLP search facility requiring the use of users' own search tools. 11
McSparran , Frances . (editor-in-chief), The Middle English Compendium . Michigan : University of Michigan Digital Library Production Service, 2001-6
< http://ets.umdl.umich.edu/m/mec/index.html >
MEC is a project incorporating a digitized version of the Middle English Dictionary but it improves its usability by interconnecting it with a Middle English HyperBibliography and a Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse . The contents of the dictionary itself are exactly those of its paper counterpart, but its digitization made all kinds of searches possible. Currently, the electronic version of MED supports simple lookups of headwords and variants with a possibility to use regular expressions – wildcards 12 are available to represent any or limited number of characters, a beginning or an end of a word, etc. More complex searches allow users to specify which part of the entry is searched, while Boolean 13 and proximity 14 searches are also allowed. As the user is allowed to search quotations, it is possible to restrict the search to a certain period or text(s). The interconnection with the HyperBibliography gives users an opportunity to display full bibliographical information of any quoted text in the dictionary including a list of its editions/facsimiles and a reference to A Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English. 15The interconnection with the Corpus makes it possible to display the whole text from which the quotation is taken if the text has already been added into the Corpus . 16 The handling of special characters has been designed with user-friendliness in mind: substitution characters are used for special characters entry 17 (e.g. capital “T” for thorn), which is very convenient but renders the characters used for substitution unsearchable. Images are used to display the non-standard characters, 18 which is again very convenient because there are no special requirements for the user, but it limits further handling of the displayed text. The MEC is an invaluable resource and a model for future projects. Its value was further increased in 2006 by a generous decision of the publishers to offer all of the MEC for free. For more information about MEC and MED see chapter 3.
Mayhew , Anthony Lawson, Skeat , Walter W. A Concise Dictionary of Middle English, from 1150 – 1580 . Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1888
< http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10625 >
The dictionary had been scanned by Case Western Reserve University and given to Project Gutenberg volunteers who hand-corrected the text in 2004. The text is now freely available to download, but the text has been stripped of most formatting, while special characters have been substituted (e.g. yogh for “ 3” ). The text is also offered commercially in PDF for handheld devices, but this format does not provide any interesting features. For more information see chapter 3.
Roberts , Jane, Flora Edmonds, Christian Kay, Irené Wotherspoon, Thesaurus of Old English Online, University of Glasgow, 2005
< http://libra.englang.arts.gla.ac.uk/oethesaurus >
An electronic version of the 2 nd ed. of the Thesaurus digitized by its authors is in fact a searchable database in a thesaurus structure. It is possible to search for an Old English word and view all the thesaurus categories including this word and then display listing of any of these categories. Search can be carried with or without regard to the length marking and wildcards can be used for searches of the beginning/middle/end of the word. Modern English words appearing in the category descriptions can be searched, as well as the frequency flags or Old English phrases (entries consisting of more than one word). Users that do not wish to search for a specific form may use the browsing facilities that list categories in alphabetical or their original order. Special characters are substituted by standard capital letters and length can be marked using the underscore.
Baker , Peter Stuart. “Glossary” Old English Aerobic . University of Virginia , 2003
< http://www.engl.virginia.edu/OE/glossary/ >
An electronic version of Baker's Introduction to Old English is an innovative project in several ways. So far, it is probably the only traditionally published Old English textbook that would originate online. Peter Baker has seamlessly integrated reading texts with glossary, notes, grammar and voice recordings so that the users need only to click on words or clauses of the text they are reading and the desired information is readily displayed. Selecting individual words brings up their Modern English translation and grammatical information from the glossary, together with a link to an appropriate chapter of the grammatical introduction. Selecting highlighted items displays additional notes or explanations of idiomatical expressions. Selecting clauses brings information about the clause type being displayed and finally clicking paragraphs produces the voice of the author reading them aloud to you. The texts, the introduction or the glossary can be also printed for offline use. The introduction corresponds to its printed version, but the text and the glossary add some new material. The project is under development though hardly anything can be added to user-friendliness of the application.
Healey , Antonette diPaolo, Angus Cameron and Ashley Crandell Amos . The Dictionary of Old English , Toronto : Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 2003 (ISBN ISBN 0-88844-928-3)
< http://www.doe.utoronto.ca/ >
DOE aims to be an exhaustive dictionary of Old English, replacing the Bosworth-Toller dictionary and covering the period prior to that covered by MED. It has been in development since 1970s, with most of its first two decades spent in preparing and digitizing at least one copy of every extant text in Old English. This way, The Electronic Corpus of the DOE was created and from this a wordlist was generated with a number of citations for each of the future entries. On this groundwork, the entries are now being written with letters A-F being already published online and on CD-ROM, with its own application for searching & browsing. The structure of the dictionary is strictly alphabetical with ash following “a” and the “ge-” prefix disregarded; headwords are the extant West-Saxon forms if possible, or the most common forms. Headwords are followed by part of speech information with occasional reference to cognate words. After this, all attested forms of the word follow with basic grammatical information provided. Then the frequency is stated in number of occurrences, usually accompanied by usage notes. If the entry is a complex one, a schema of its sense division follows succeeded by the definitions themselves. These can be analytical or simple equivalents, depending on the complexity of the particular word. Definitions are followed by supporting citations, their references and notes to the sources (with editorial changes in square brackets). Then Latin equivalents from the manuscripts are provided, if there are any, and a “See Also” section referring to other dictionary entries that follow. The last two sections are references to secondary literature and additional material, usually in the form of general notes to the particular entry. The search tools are similar to those of MED and they include the possibility to search separate parts of the entries and the use of regular expressions (wildcards), but the Boolean search is not provided. The special characters can be entered either through character codes 19 or by substitution of capital letters (“T” for thorn, etc.). However, the characters are displayed in Unicode 20 so that the displayed text can be further processed (copied, edited, etc.) (Jenkyns 1991, 380-416 and DOE Help). See chapter 3 for more information.
Johnson , J. R., “Dictionaries” in Old English Made Easy, 2006
< http://home.comcast.net/~modean52/oeme_dictionaries.htm >
An interesting project using unknown lexicographical data, but apparently mostly the electronic version of Bosworth to create a hyperlinked dictionary with a reverse wordlist. The citations and references were left out, but the reverse wordlist can prove useful.
Slade, Benjamin. Old English Glossary for Beowulf and the Finnesburh Fragment
< http://www.heorot.dk/glossary.html >
And extensive glossary to B éowulf based upon Klaeber's glossary, but with numerous additions and corrections. The glossary can be browsed or searched via browser's own search engine.
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