“Something might also be said of the choice of Words, in our refined English tongue; which are to be liked and approved according to their tone, and the sweetness of their cadence, that is, as they run musically in the Ear.”
-Thomas Blount on Glossographia
This blog will introduce you to Thomas Blount’s 1661 edition of:
Glossographia: Or A Dictionary, Interpreting all such Hard Words of Whatshoever Language, now used in our refined English Tongue. With Etymologies, Definitions, and Historical Observations on the same. Also the Terms of Divinity, Law, Physick, Mathematicks, Heraldry, Anatomy, War, Musick, Architecture; and of several other Arts and Sciences Explicated. Very useful for all such as desire to understand what they read.
Blount constantly revised and updated his Glossographia, totaling up to the fifth edition of 1681, published posthumously. There are two different ‘second editions’ of Glossographia, one in 1659 being a reissue of the first of 1656, and this second edition of 1661 being a revision with new material. Each subsequent edition was revised and expanded. Blount’s Glossographia inspired many other early dictionaries. Noteworthy ones include: Edward Phillips’s The New World of English Words: Or, a General Dictionary (1658); John Dutton’s The Ladies Dictionary: Being a General Entertainment For the Fair Sex (1694); and Glossographia Anglicana Nova (1707).”
This blog is an exploration of:
- How Blount’s background and faith shaped his life and practice, particularly in lexicography (About Thomas Blount)
- The precedents set by Glossographia, and how it inspired other lexicographers, most notably his nemesis Edward Phillips (About Glossographia and Lexicographer Brawls)
- The making and publishing of Glossographia (Working Methods and Printing/Publishing/Selling)
- Interesting entries that can be found in the Glossographia (Inside Glossographia)
-Angela Wu, 2018
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