Word Searchers

Jane Griffiths and Edmund Weiner tell of plans to bring the Oxford English Dictionary up to date and how historians can help.

The Oxford English Dictionary must be familiar to most historians as a valuable source of information about the terminology that they encounter in their field of study. The first edition, published serially between 1884 and 1928, and thereafter in twelve volumes, was the first truly historical dictionary. It traced the history of every word in the English language from its earliest to its latest known occurrence, classifying the meanings, phraseological combinations and compounds of each word chronologically, and presenting a chronological range of illustrative examples for each use.

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