Friday, April 15, 2005

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

I noticed on the Wikipedia home page today that it is the 250th anniversary of the publication of Samuel Johnson's dictionary. (I also saw that it is 20 years since Marvin Hagler beat Tommy Hearns in one of the greatest fights in history. That makes me feel old.)

Some quotations from the dictionary courtesy of

Dull: Not exhilaterating (sic); not delightful; as, to make dictionaries is dull work.
Excise: A hateful tax levied upon commodities, and adjudged not by the common judges of property, but wretches hired by those to whom excise is paid.
Far-fetch: A deep stratagem. A ludicrous word.
Jobbernowl: Loggerhead; blockhead.
Kickshaw: A dish so changed by the cookery that it can scarcely be known.
Lexicographer: A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words.
Oats: A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland appears to support the people.
Patron: One who countenances, supports or protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is paid with flattery.
Pension: An allowance made to any one without an equivalent. In England it is generally understood to mean pay given to a state hireling for treason to his country.
Politician: 1. One versed in the arts of government; one skilled in politicks. 2. A man of artifice; one of deep contrivance.
To worm: To deprive a dog of something, nobody knows what, under his tongue, which is said to prevent him, nobody knows why, from running mad.

I must be a bit of a jobbernowl myself as I have never heard of kickshaw. I wonder where I can get a recipe.

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