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Excerpt from A Middle-English Dictionary: Containing Words Used by English Writers From the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Century
English, their antecedents in old-english, and their cognates in other languages, Such explanations of meanings as were given were merely sub sidiary to this object. Not infrequently, indeed, words (and those not merely compounds or obvious derivatives) were left without interpretation altogether; in other cases the sense was indicated only by Latin words, which were often themselves ambiguous. Where a middle-english word was glossed by a modem-english one, the latter was commonly the etymological equivalent, even though the word might have undergone a complete change of meaning. In a very large number of instances the only vernacular gloss is an obsolete or dialectal word taken from Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words,' or some similar source, and quite unintelligible to ordinary English readers. The following examples will illustrate the author's method -ohe.
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Henry Bradley's revised and enlarged edition of Stratmann's Middle-English Dictionary containing words used by English writers from the twelfth to the fifteenth century was originally published in 1891. It has been reprinted many times.It is now being reprinted again by Oxford University Press in 2003 for Oxbow Books, Oxford, and Powell's Books, Chicago.
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