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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 names in particular, pose all kinds of problems. To begin with, a place name cannot really be defined. A common noun denotes a class of […]

Surnames as sources in the OED

You may also be interested in Peter’s article on English personal names in the OED. Surnames occur in the OED for two main reasons. Many of them derive from words in Middle English, and may therefore help to fill gaps in the lexical evidence. From the sixteenth century onwards surnames have increasingly been a basis […]

Personal names and the development of English

You may also be interested in Peter’s article on Surnames as sources in the OED. A short history of English personal names It is one of many linguistic consequences of the Norman Conquest that only a few of the original, native English personal names are familiar to us nowadays. In late Anglo-Saxon England, names of […]