Old English Dictionaries.

Via Dave Wilton at Wordorigins.org, I present this useful introduction to three OE dictionaries. I’ll let Dave describe it:

Peter Buchanan, who teaches at New Mexico Highlands University, has assembled an excellent introduction to the three major Old English dictionaries: John Clark Hall’s Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (a.k.a., Clark Hall), Joseph Bosworth and T. Northcote Toller’s Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (Bosworth Toller), and Toronto’s Dictionary of Old English (DOE). Buchanan’s discussion can be found on his blog, Phenomenal Anglo-Saxons. Buchanan’s description is framed as a reference for students at NMHU, but it’s useful for anyone who wants an introduction to the dictionaries.

I have a hard copy (i.e., actual book) of Clark Hall, which is sufficient for my limited OE needs, but if I got into the language more deeply, I’d be grateful for the detailed and helpful descriptions at the link, and I imagine some of my readers will be as well.


  1. Las Vegas, NM, that is.

  2. WP points out that Las Vegas, NM, is the result of the fusion of the city of Las Vegas and the town of Las Vegas, formerly on opposite sides of the river. If this hadn’t happened, perhaps the metro area would be known as Las Vegas–Las Vegas, in the style of Minneapolis–St. Paul, or even as Las Vegas Vegas, more or less in the style of Budapest.

  3. But even better match is Baden-Baden. Also don’t forget New York, NY. But we are moving toward some other thread, I am afraid.

  4. David Marjanović says

    New York, NY

    Likewise, Salzburg is in Salzburg. But Vienna isn’t in Vienna, it is Vienna. 🙂

  5. January First-of-May says

    Oklahoma City isn’t just in Oklahoma, it’s also (mostly) in Oklahoma County.

    (New York County exists too, IIRC, but it’s only a small part of the city.)

  6. J.W. Brewer says

    Situations in which the Village of NAME exists as an incorporated municipality within the unincorporated Town of SAMENAME are ubiquitous in New York state. Ossining is an example in Westchester County. There are some situations in which the incorporated village has come to encompass the entire town. Westchester example: Scarsdale. For technical reasons a “city” cannot be part of a “town” (this is a quirk of New York local-government law that is not necessarily the case elsewhere) so sometimes when an incorporated Village of NAME gets upgraded to the City of NAME it is adjacent to, but no longer part of, the Town of SAMENAME. Westchester example: Rye. Alas, I have never heard anyone deploying a usage like Rye-Rye or Scarsdale-Scarsdale to refer to these phenomena, although if the names are similar-but-not-identical you occasionally get usages like “the Oranges” in Essex Co., N.J., i.e. Orange plus East Orange plus South Orange plus West Orange — no, I don’t know why there’s no North Orange.

  7. In NM municipality law, however, towns and cities (and villages) are all incorporated bodies, and there are no unincorporated bodies smaller than counties. So Las Vegas represents a true merger of bodies legally equal in all respects except perhaps size, though some cities are less populous than some towns. The two school districts remain unmerged, however.

  8. There is no North Orange, NJ, because people in the northern part of Orange didn’t insist on it. Quoth WP:

    Orange was incorporated as a town on January 31, 1860. Almost immediately, it began fragmenting into smaller communities, primarily because of local disputes about the costs of establishing paid police, fire, and street departments. South Orange was organized on January 26, 1861, Fairmount (later to become part of West Orange) on March 11, 1862, East Orange on March 4, 1863, and West Orange (including Fairmount) on March 14, 1863.

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