Although in the age of the Internet we have access to the magnificent Middle English Compendium hosted by the University of Michigan, few students of Middle English would question the usefulness of a desktop copy for day-to-day reference. There has been no handy, reliable edition of such a dictionary for many years. The 1888 edition of Mayhew and Skeat's Concise Dictionary of Middle English can sometimes be found in antiquarian bookshops, but it is scarce, and available copies vary in both condition and cost. This new edition of Mayhew and Skeat has been revised and completely reset for the modern reader. It offers in a concise form more than 11,000 headwords with source references, cross references, and etymologies.
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Concise Dictionary of Middle English based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Though a convenient and fairly comprehensive tool, for the non-specialist The Concise Dictionary of Middle English is often not especially user friendly. Frustrations stem from trial-and-error searches for variant word (and stem) spellings usually found lumped with other variants reflecting a wide range of spellings under a single entry. Far better would have been an "analytical dictionary" format listing all spelling variants alphabetically but keyed to a single, most-commonly used word entry. This defect may not seem at first critical until one realizes that prior to the standardization of spelling effected by the printing press, word spellings in ME manuscripts vary widely and wildly. Of course, would a proposed "analytical" tool of this type compromise the merits of "concise"?