Today I worked at cleaning up, sorting, and putting things in boxes for a tag sale – and I found our battered and really old dictionary (as opposed to the 1881 one we also own – see the “language” category.
It’s an odd size – nearly square – battered, leather-bound, and missing a bunch of pages at the beginning and end. The pages are seriously discolored, and I think there used to be lettering on the spine. It’s quite thick – I have a little under 500 of the pages. It seems to have belonged to at least two schoolchildren: The inside cover is inscribed “Amy Kirbys Book New Y….k” and page 27 (now the first page) has “C. H. Manning M. Y. D.” written along the bottom. The back cover has “Thomas” written with an elaborately curlicued “T.”
And what words did the dictionary editor (anonymous to me, since the title page is missing) think were useful to know? Let’s see:
Agen, ad. again, in return
Aggeneration, s. state of growing to another body
Aggerate, v. a., to heap up
Agglutinants, s. medicines
Agglutinate, v. n. to unite
Aggress, v. n. to commit the first act of violence
Aggroup, v. a. to bring together into one figure
Agitable, a. moveable
Aglet, s. pendants at the ends of the chives of flowers
Agminal, a. belonging to a troop
Agnail, s. a whitlow
And what’s a whitlow? According to the 1881 dictionary, “a disease of the nails.” (This damaged dictionary stops at “Transpose.”)
Agnation, s. descent from the same father.
Agnition, s. acknowledgment
Agnize, v. a. to acknowledge
Agnomination, s. allusion of one word to another
Agnus Casus, s. the chaste tree
Google says this is an actual Mediterranean tree.
Agoing, ad. in action
Agone, ad. ago, past
Agonism, s. contention
Agonistes, s. a prize-fighter
Agood, ad. in earnest
Agrace, v. a. to grant favour
Some of these are in the later dictionary, but others are not, and those present sometimes have different definitions. Also notice the British spelling of “favor” as “favour” – that also suggests it’s a notably old dictionary.
I’m so happy that I finally found this book again!