Sunday, December 4, 2011

Twelve Dictionaries

No, this is not like the twelve days of Christmas. I was looking at my bookshelves and, although I have more reference works than these dictionaries, for a book that can be properly called a dictionary I have twelve. Non-electronic. If I factor digital ones then I have even more.
For my entertainment and your astonishment, I shall list them here in no particular order:
Brewer's Britain and Ireland, meaning of place names
Collins German Concise, German/English
Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic, Geir T. Zo√ęga
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.
The New College Latin and English Dictionary
Collins Pocket French, French/English
Cassell's Latin Dictionary, Latin/English
The Pelican Rhyming Dictionary
A Concise Anglo Saxon Dictionary, J.R. Clark
Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin, Stelton
The Oxford Concise English Dictionary
The Oxford Latin Dictionary

and I use them all. Well, except that Rhyming Dictionary. It has been years since I looked at that one. Now you know.


Tracy said...

I have the Collins German Dictionary (also a book of German verb tables) Plus a French and one small Latin dictionary and the concise OED. But I'd love a rhyming dictionary! And I keep meaning to buy the Brewers Phrase and Fable one.

I also have the Penguin Dictionary of Symbols - full of fascinating information.

Anachronist said...

I have the Brewers Pharse and Fable, The New Penguin English dictionary with a thesaurus (I love them both), Longman Contemporary English, Oxford Advanced Lerner's, Le Micro Robert, Webster's New Dictionary and Thesaurus, Oxford Collocations Dictionary and New Dictionary of Contemporary Polish Language. I think I should buy something in German...

The Red Witch said...

I should kepp an eye out for that book of symbols. That does sound good.
Anachronist, you have a large collection of dictionaries too. Are those thesauri and dictionaries in one volume together? I do own Roget's Thesaurus but it is not, strictly speaking a dictionary. I didn't include the Harry Potter Lexicon for the same reason or Bartlett's Book of Familiar Quotations.

The Plashing Vole said...

Brewers Phrase and Fable and a good dictionary of place names and origins is essential. I also keep a dictionary of classical terms, places and people ready for literary references, and a dictionary of art references too (such as the significance of looking in particular directions, or certain colours etc. I've also bought a flower meaning dictionary. Very good for Victorian poetry.

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

I don't have any of these :(

Tracy said...

I have Roget's Thesauraus too, Red Witch - definitely essential!

A Dictionary of Art References sounds really useful, Plashing Vole - I'll certainly look out for that one.

The Red Witch said...

No worries Brooke, it sounds like you have the makings of a large collection of books. You can hold your head up.

I have been thinking of getting a book on the Victorian language of flowers, Vole. Good ones are not easyto find.
Maybe a digital one. That's how I got Meissner's dictionary of Skaldic kennings. Useful, indeed, but all the definitions are in German so I am not likely to find one in print around here.
Amazingly I acquired the Bosworth and Toller dictionary for Anglo-Saxon as an iPad app. It's very good. I like it better than the Clark.
And I have the Lewis and Short Latin Dictionary as an iPad app along with a Latin hangman game.
What is the name of the art reference book? I have also heard Tubach's Index Exemplorum is worth having and Boberg's Motif Index, if anyone needs a reason to shop.

Anachronist said...

Are those thesauri and dictionaries in one volume together?

The Penguin thesaurus is a separate volume (I love it madly) the Webster's is as an appendix to the dictionary itself...

I wish I had Liddle and Scott Greek- English Lexicon but it is insanely expensive on Amazon and elsewhere...

Tracy said...

I actually like flicking through dictionaries occasionally (Sad? I can think of sadder pastimes!). Like everyone else I check online dictionaries for spelling (probably not frequently enough, though) or to borrow an umlaut/acute accent or if I'm attempting to read a Will Self novel - because many of the words he uses are so obscure they don't even feature in my dictionary - but online dictionaries just can't surprise you with a word you've never heard of in the way randomly opening one of these ones can.

The Red Witch said...

I enjoy reading dictionaries. When I found out that I could access the Oxford English Dictionary online through my university library, I actually 'squeed' out loud making a grumpy professor give me the 'hairy eyeball'.