It Came From Behind The Shelf No.1
A new occasional series about the things I find down the backs of my bookshelves. We have a ridiculously minimalist home but there are still oddities tucked away and forgotten about behind the books.
I have no recollection of where this came from. It’s one of the oldest books I own, an English dictionary from the year 1787, when ‘S’ was still spelled ‘f’, and the words defined in it are virtual alien to modern eyes.
‘Agnomination’ is the allusion of one word to another, ‘But’yrous’ is buttery, ‘Cade’ is delicate or tender, ‘Deofculation’ is the act of killing, and so on.
It makes you realise that any period drama we see on TV is absurdly wrong in its dialogue, and the insertion of a few of these fine lost words wouldn’t go amiss – people are smart enough to discern their meanings, surely?
In the preface of the book it says; ”In the execution of the book I have confulted public utility, not only in fpeaking and writing Englifh, but in the frequent difappointments which a reader meets with in perufing our beft authors, both in verfe and profe, for want of an explanation of words peculiar to their leaned and much efteemed performances.’ How lovely is that?