Monday, March 31, 2008

From My Reference Shelves . . .

      The Oxford Dictionary of

                      English Etymology

One of my favorite books on my shelves is The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, edited by C. T. Onions and first published in 1966.  My copy is a 1974 printing, large, hard-cover, with no dust-jacket, that I bought on eBay.  It is in excellent condition, and although it gets a pretty good workout from me, I am, so far, keeping it in excellent condition.

The publisher's note inside described Dr. Onions as the last of the editors of the original Oxford English Dictionary.  He died while the 1966 version that he edited was going through the press. 

Dr. Onions joined the staff of The Oxford English Dictionary in 1895.  He published a Shakespeare Glossary in 1911, and that is next on my list of book "wants". 

The Oxford English Dictionary of Etymology has 24,000 main entries, digging into the origins of more than 38,000 words.  For each entry the dictionary gives the pronunciation, a short definition, and the century and source of the word's first recording.

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