dictionaries, editors, research, English, zeitgeist, apple, Renaissance, Alphabetically, Greek, Fren

Difficult words were included in the first English dictionaries.

dictionaries, editors, research, English, zeitgeist, apple, Renaissance, Alphabetically, Greek, Fren

We imagine dictionaries as massive tomes containing everything from antelope and apple to zeitgeist and zoo trophy, but early English dictionaries lacked simple, everyday words. English doubled its vocabulary in the 16th and 17th centuries, thanks in part to the Renaissance's classical influence, by incorporating words from other languages. To look up these new, difficult words that they hadn't heard before, people needed to consult word lists. A Table Alphabetically, compiled by a teacher named Robert Cawdrey in 1604, defined difficult English words borrowed from Latin, Greek, French, and Hebrew. Other Englishmen published lists of difficult words with simple definitions throughout the 17th century, and people turn

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