The Written And Printed Word


Nathan Bailey, 1789
{2 Copies ~ 1st: Width: 5-1/4"; Height: 8-1/4"; Thickness: 2-1/8"
2nd: Width: 5-1/4"; Height: 8-5/8"; Thickness: 2-3/8" }

     The complete title for this book is: AN UNIVERSAL ETYMOLOGICAL ENGLISH DICTIONARY: Comprehending the Derivations of the Generality of Words in the English Tongue either Ancient or Modern, from the Ancient British, Saxon, Danish, Norman, and Modern French, Teutonic, Dutch, Spanish, Italian; as also from the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew Languages, each in their proper Characters. And also A brief and clear Explication of all difficult Words, derived from any of the aforesaid Languages, and Terms of Art, relating to Anatomy, Botany, Physic, Pharmacy, Surgery, Chemistry, Philosophy, Divinity, Mathematics, Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Music, Heraldry, Maritime Affairs, Military Discipline, Horsemanship, Hunting, Hawking, Fowling, Fishing, Gardening, Husbandry, Handicrafts, Contectionary, Carving, Cookery, Etc. Together with A large Collection and Explication of Words and Phrases used in our Ancient Statutes, Charters, Writs, Old Records and Processes in Law, and the Etymology and Interpretation of the Proper Names of Men, Women, and remarkable Places in Great Britain: And also the Dialects of our different Counties. Also a Collection of our most common Proverbs, with their Explication. The whole WORK compiled and methodically digested, as well for the Entertainment of the Curious, as the Information of the Ignorant; and for the benefit of young Students, Artificers, Tradesmen, and Foreigners, who are desirous thoroughly to understand what they speak, read, or write. The Twenty-sixth Edition. Besides retaining the TWO THOUSAND Words, added and interspersed in their proper places, in last Edition, together with all former improvements, some further amendments have been made, so as to render the present Edition still more complete. By N. Bailey,
     Bailey compiled and published the first edition of his dictionary in 1721 in London. This twenty-sixth edition was printed at Edinburgh: by Neill and Company, For C. Elliott; and J. Duncan, sen. J.& M. Robertson, J. and W. Shaw, and Dunlop and Willson, Glasgow [Price SIX SHILLINGS]
      Nathaniel Bailey was the first important lexicographer of the english language. He published his first dictionary, in which he not only presented the spelling and meaning of each word, but also gave their origins (i.e. etymology). Bailey's dictionary went through thirty editions. He was succeeded by Samuel Johnson in England and Noah Webster in America.
     In addition to the twenty-sixth edition, I own a copy from another, earlier edition. The frontispiece is missing from the second copy, making it impossible to date properly. A handwritten note in the undated copy includes the date 1788, suggesting it was written in a book a year or two prior to that.

     The following images are of the second copy of Bailey's Dictionary which is missing the frontispiece, and therefore cannot be dated. The covers had come loose at some time, and had been re-attached by sewing a piece of heavy leather on the spine.