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The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology…
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The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

by C. T. Onions (Editor)

Other authors: R. W. Burchfield (Editorial assistance), G. W. S. Friedrichsen (Editorial assistance)

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Briefly defines the scope of the book in the definition of Etymology as "the origin, formation, and development (of a word)".[v]
Example: LAW - rule [OIcel] - layer, partnership, fixed price, set tune, and "in various languages, "derived from bases meaning 'place, set down'.
KEY - OFris. Kei, kay; of unknown origin.
  keylawk | Mar 18, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Onions, C. T.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burchfield, R. W.Editorial assistancesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Friedrichsen, G. W. S.Editorial assistancesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0198611129, Hardcover)

Dr. C.T. Onions first joined the staff of the Oxford English Dictionary in 1895. He worked on the OED, the Shorter OED, and then published his Shakespeare Glossary in 1911. A wonderful and learned scholar, he died in 1966 as the first edition of The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology was going to press. Assisted by G.W.S. Friedrichsen and R.W. Burchfield, Onions created a magnificent work of erudition, with 24,000 main entries. Including their derivatives, the dictionary delves into the origins of more than 38,000 words.

For each entry, the dictionary provides the correct pronunciation, followed by a short definition, and the century and source of the word's first recording. Then come the etymological notes. Thus one learns that "froth" (an aggregation of small bubbles on liquid) was first noted in the 14th century, in Sir Gawain and the Bible, that it comes from the Old Norse frooa, and was taken from there into German (fraup) and Old English (froth). Now in its fifth printing and a standard reference for scholars, Onions's opus is still the most comprehensive etymological dictionary of English ever to be published. --Stephanie Gold

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:47 -0400)

Each of 24,000 entries gives a word, its pronunciation, modern meaning, derivatives, and a history of its development and use.

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