Dictionary of Obsolete English

Dictionary of Obsolete English

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0806530421

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This new edition of the well-known definitive glossary provides the key to those terms in the English language that have either changed their meaning or been altogether discarded . . . Words common in the days of Chaucer, Shakespeare or Johnson . . . Even words known to Dickens and Browning, but today obsolete. A fascinating handbook, not merely for the linguist and philologist, but for everyone intrigued by the colorful, the strange and the bizarre in our language.

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artisan, whose pencil moves Not our delights alone, but loves ! WALLER, Lines to Van Dyck. For then, the bold and coward, The wise and fool, the artist and unread, The hard and soft, seem all affined and kin. SHAKESPEARE, Troilus and Cressida, act i. sc. 3. Nor would I dissuade any artist well grounded in Aristotle from perusing the most learned works any Romanist hath written in this argument. In other controversies between them and us it is dangerous, I must confess, even for

confirmed them.—ADAMS, The Devil’s Banquet, 1614, p. 52. I can hardly believe my eyes while I read such a petit novelist charging the whole Church as fools and heretics for not subscribing to a silly heretical notion, solely of his own invention.—SOUTH, Animadversions on Dr. Sherlock’s Book, p. 3. NURSERY. We have but one use of ‘nursery’ at this present, namely as the place of nursing ; but it was once applied as well to the person nursed, or the act of nursing. A jolly dame, no doubt; as

use was is anything but easy. Gifford (Massinger, vol. i. p. 71) says confidently, ‘peevish is foolish;’ but upon induction from an insufficient number of passages. ‘Peevish’ is rather self-willed, obstinate. That in a world like ours those who refuse to give up their own wills should be continually crossed, and thus should become fretful, and ‘peevish’ in our modern sense of the word, is inevitable ; and here is the history of the change of meaning which it has undergone. Valentine. Cannot

absence;’ and in proof of what honourable use the word might have, I need but refer to the quotation which immediately follows: Our everlasting and only High Bishop; our only attorney, only mediator, only peacemaker between God and men.—A Short Catechism, 1553. Attorneys are denied me, And therefore personally I lay my claim To my inheritance of free descent. SHAKESPEARE, King Richard II. act ii. sc. 3. Tertullian seems to understand this baptism for the dead [I Cor. XV. 29] de

ban, namely the exacting of an excessive interest for money lent. On the other side, the commodities of usury are: first, that howsoever usury in some respect hindereth merchandizing, yet in some other it advanceth it; for it is certain that the greatest part of trade is driven by young merchants upon borrowing at interest; so as if the usurer either call in or keep back his money, there will ensue presently a great stand of trade.—BACON, Essays. Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the

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