Thursday, September 28, 2006

SDB History: Nathanael Bailey

Nathanael Bailey
Nathanael Bailey
Nathan Bailey was an English schoolmaster, philologist and lexicographer. His Universal Etymological English Dictionary of 1721 went through some thirty editions; his 1730 Dictionarium Britannicum was a massive folio dictionary that Samuel Johnson used as a basis for his own dictionary. Bailey included etymologies, rudimentary pronunciations, proverbs, and many woodcut illustrations. Esoteric Latinisms were excluded, but common words were defined. The Britannicum had about 48,000 entries, many more than any of its predecessors, and even more than Johnson, at about 42,000.

Bailey was a Seventh Day Baptist, had a school at Stepney, and was also the author of Dictionarium Domesticum and other educational works.

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