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A Dictionary of the English Language by…
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A Dictionary of the English Language (1755)

by Samuel Johnson

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Facsimile of 1755 Edition, 2 Volumes, Folio Society
  bonedoc86 | Jan 1, 2017 |
Eighth edition, 1799
  richardhobbs | Nov 28, 2010 |
"Cough: A convulsion of the lungs, vellicated by some sharp serosity.


Distiller: One who makes and sells pernicious and inflammatory spirits.


Dull: Not exhilaterating (sic); not delightful; as, to make dictionaries is dull work.


Excise: A hateful tax levied upon commodities, and adjudged not by the common judges of property, but wretches hired by those to whom excise is paid.


Far-fetch: A deep stratagem. A ludicrous word.


Jobbernowl: Loggerhead; blockhead.


Kickshaw: A dish so changed by the cookery that it can scarcely be known.


Lexicographer: A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words.


Network: Any thing reticulated or decussated, at equal distances, with interstices between the intersections. (See how he defined 'reticulated,' below.)


Oats: A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland appears to support the people.


Pastern: The knee of a horse. (This is wrong. When Johnson was once asked how he came to make such a mistake, Boswell tells us he replied, "Ignorance, Madam, pure ignorance.")


Patron: One who countenances, supports or protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is paid with flattery.


Pension: An allowance made to any one without an equivalent. In England it is generally understood to mean pay given to a state hireling for treason to his country.


Politician: 1. One versed in the arts of government; one skilled in politicks. 2. A man of artifice; one of deep contrivance.


Reticulated: Made of network; formed with interstitial vacuities.


Tory: One who adheres to the ancient constitution of the state, and the apostolical hierarchy of the church of England, opposed to a Whig.


Whig: The name of a faction.


To worm: To deprive a dog of something, nobody knows what, under his tongue, which is said to prevent him, nobody knows why, from running mad."


Seminal. Proves that the OED and The Devil's Dictionary had a common ancestor. ( )
1 vote MeditationesMartini | Dec 16, 2009 |
Book Condition: Very Good. To which is prefixed, A Grammar of of the English Language. Printed for T. Longman, B. Law & Son, J. Dodsley, J. Robson, et al, London: 1794, thick 8vo., 10th. edition, unpaginated, [pp. 966] contemporary full tree calf, rebacked, 5 raised bands, fine gilt in compartments, titled in gilt on red label, signature in ink to titlepage, otherwise a very good clean copy. Spotting to e/p's only. Scarce.
  plattjerome | Dec 21, 2008 |
b. lichfield 1709: 1794.
johnson's father was a bookseller and former wrestling champion, and both his parents were advanced in years when he was born. tho afflicted by bad eyesight, scrofula and nervous ticks, johnson grew into a raw-boned, powerful man, and was possessed of a phenomenal memory and intense intellectual energy. his staunchness and sturdiness are legendary, yet he suffered physical and emotional torment all his life. he read widely as a boy and was sent to oxford, which he was forced to leave prematurely, as his funds were short. he married, failed as a schoolmaster, and went to london in 1737, where he labored for nearly 20 years in obscurity at translations, poetry, moralistic essays and his famous dictionary of the english languege. the later, which he completed, working alone, in 1755, made him a famous man, but he declared in its preface that, "most of those whom i wished to please, are sunk into the grave." he was pensioned by the government in 1762 and met james boswell in 1763;
these two events were to rescue him from the distress of poverty, and make him famous to posterity as the irrisistaby colorful hero of boswell's life. his writings from the period include: lives of the poets,and journey to the western isles of scotland, and while his style now began to show more restraint than formerly, the characteristic force and vigor, and the careful moralistic sensibility are still in evidence.
both as a writer and as a man Johnson has a courageous solidity and presence which are at once soothing to the mind and thrilling to the heart. to know and love Samuel Johnson, is to belong to a club whose members have in common that they must smile with ineffable satisfaction to immagine him at fullback. ( )
1 vote Porius | Oct 27, 2008 |
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This should be the entire dictonary of Samuel Johnson. Please don't combine with later selections, and please separate out any such editons.
This is most likely a jumble of different books with selections from Dr Johnson's dictionary. If any of your books is included here, please separate and combine as appropriate.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0333329848, Paperback)

Johnson's complete 1755 Dictionary runs to 2,300 pages of definitions and literary examples, a preface, a history of the language, and a grammar. The Cassell modern selection is a mere 463 pages, but an excellent start. This is a highly individual, often idiosyncratic dictionary, and most people now check entries more for verbal pleasure and historical curiosity than usage. Though Johnson began his dictionary in a prescriptive mode--he would tell the reader what was right and what not--he ended by being surprisingly descriptive. There is of course his concern with low words and his loathing of cant, his self-knowing definitions of grubstreet ( "Originally the name of a street in Moorfields in London, much inhabited by writers of small histories, dictionaries, and temporary poems...") and lexicographer ("a writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge..."). In their introduction, E. L. McAdam and George Milne point out that Johnson "had no prejudice against merely vulgar words, and may have enjoyed them." He does, after all, include among other phrases, fart, complete with two examples. Jonathan Swift's is hilarious, John Suckling's surprisingly wistful: "Love is the fart / Of every heart; / It pains a man when 'tis kept close; / And others doth offend, when 'tis set loose." Among other acute joys are the forward-looking verb to foreslack, "To neglect by idleness," and the first entry under to hoodwink, which awakens one to its physical beginnings, "To blind with something bound over the eyes."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:29 -0400)

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