Show Less
Restricted access

A History of the «Concise Oxford Dictionary»


Malgorzata Kaminska

This book shows the evolution of the Concise Oxford Dictionary, a famous and innovative dictionary for native speakers of English. It traces changes in the dictionary from 1911 to recent times. By comparing samples from each edition, the author provides insights into the revisions of the dictionary. The analysis sheds light on the editors’ policy on various aspects of the dictionary’s structure, including definition style, vocabulary selection and sense discrimination. The study shows how the editors abandoned the telegraphic style of definitions and adapted them to the needs of the target users. As the dictionary evolved towards greater user-friendliness, it also aimed at broader vocabulary coverage.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

11. Etymology


This chapter discusses changes in the presentation of etymological information. We will focus in particular on the type, amount and accessibility of etymological information.


Etymologies in COD1 were given in square brackets at the end of all entries in the sample, including the entries for self-explaining derivatives such as rabblement [-MENT] (1–20) and treatment [as TREAT, see –MENT] (1–23). As for the etymological content, it was quite detailed but varied. For example, the etymology of burlesque, which is shown below, contained the name of the immediate source language (F.) and the name of the ultimate source language (It.), followed by a form in this language (burlesco). In addition, the information in brackets provided an etymon (burla) followed by the English translation (mockery), and a cross-reference to the suffix-entry (-ESQUE). As might be inferred from the preface, the absence of the French form after the name of the language suggested that the form was identical in spelling as the English one (COD1, viii).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.