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James Murray

Rewriting the OED

Today’s OED offices in Oxford and New York are a hive of lexicographical activity. Over seventy editors work on updating the text of the dictionary for its Third Edition (2000-)….

Dictionary Editors

In this section we give brief biographies of the chief editors of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Dictionary Facts

First Edition Proposed size: 4 volumes, 6,400 pages (with provision for ‘a larger dictionary containing not fewer than 10 volumes, each containing not less than 1,600 pages’) Actual size: 10…

Dictionary Milestones

A chronology of events relevant to the history of the OED Dictionary milestones in reverse chronological order 1857  At the suggestion of Frederick J. Furnivall, the Philological Society of London…

‘Ware man-traps: rethinking an OED entry

When revising an OED entry, one often ends up thinking about the meaning not only of the word in question but also of the entry itself—what, in other words, was…

Place names in the Oxford English Dictionary

Problems with place As any Scrabble player knows, dictionaries of English tend not to include entries for names—of people, organizations, or places. For the lexicographer names in general, and place…

January 1880 Appeal

Welcome to the facsimile text of the third edition of James Murray’s Appeal to the English-speaking and English-reading public, issued in June 1879. The first and second editions are also…

1928: the Year of the Dictionary

International acclaim, a nine-course banquet, a toast by the Prime Minister… Find out how the completion of the OED was celebrated by its contemporaries.