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Author Topic: Bosworth/Toller  (Read 5188 times)

brian farrell

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« on: June 11, 2015, 05:37:27 PM »
I hope that the following is beneficial to anyone who struggles with the lay-out, presentation and wording within the "Bosworth/Toller Dictionary & Supplement".

Using the entry for 'craeft' as an example:-

The original Bosworth Dictionary (or rather part-dictionary, as he died before it was completed) had four sections under this entry.

I. power, might, strength as of body, or externals; vis. robur, potentia:
II. an art, skill, craft, trade, work; ars, peritia, artificium, occupatio, opus:
III. craft of mind, cunning, knowledge, science, talent, ability, faculty, excellence, virtue; astutia, machinatio, scientia, facultas, praestantia, virtus:
IV. a craft, any kind of ship; navis qualiscunque:

Under each of these section-headings there were numerous examples.

Then along came Toller, with the intent of both completing Bosworth's project and amending some of the original work. As far as the 'craeft' entries are concerned, Toller's instructions to the reader are:-

First; Delete the section heading, 'IV. a craft, kind of ship; navis qualiscunque,'
(the two examples that were contained under this heading then automatically become the last two entries of section III)

Toller then instructs that extra examples should be added to the remaining sections,

Under I. Add -- Mid eallum Creca craftum ... etc
Under II. Add -- He leornode sumne craeft ... etc
Under III. Add -- Hie wenad daet hiera ... etc. {plus three other examples}

He then instructs that a new sub-section should be created:
'IIIa. in a bad sense, a cunning trick, stratagem, artifice':
followed by three examples for this new sub-section.

Then, he instructs that a brand-new section 4 should be created (remember that the original was deleted):-
'IV. a machine, instrument, engine':
followed by five examples for this new section.

And finally, he adds numerous cross-references, to be added to the original cross-references;
v. circul-, gedwol-, ... etc

Later, as an after-thought, he also created a "Corrections & Additions" for the entire Bosworth Dictionary & Toller Supplement. Those regarding the 'craeft' entry being several more cross-references that needed to be added.

[Latin words are used when giving some instructions, but they are fairly obvious; e.g. Add, Dele (delete/destroy) & v. (= 'vide' = "see")]

brian farrell

  • Guest
Re: Bosworth/Toller
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2015, 10:02:58 AM »

When researching a word in Bosworth/Toller, it is important to remember that it has to be looked-up three-times

1; in the Dictionary
2; in the Supplement
3; in "Additions & Corrections"

There are some on-going projects dedicated to consolidating all three-into-one, and carrying out Toller's document editing instructions, but their task is massive. You, the researcher, need to asses whether the information that you are looking at represents a combination of all three, (or is it from just one of the above?).



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  • Ealdormann
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Re: Bosworth/Toller
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2015, 04:24:35 PM »
Massively helpful!

I realise this has probably sparked from my innocent little project in a separate thread but I have been trying to use the on-line B-T and struggling so I am very grateful :)



  • Guest
Re: Bosworth/Toller
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2015, 02:50:23 PM »
Phew!  Well, all I need now is an emoticon for a huge, long “AAAAAAH!”!!!

Thanks a great deal, Brian.  I’ve given a few other entries in the online version a squint or double take, wondering what kind of system I was looking at.  If any, as computers have been known to garble copy – and I was beginning to wonder whether that ‘IV. a craft, kind of ship; navis qualiscunque,' reference was some misplaced chunk of irrelevance, or other.

I didn't think I could be the only one who’s been put off his stroke by this.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 01:23:28 PM by Bowerthane »