Daily Archives: August 2, 2007

Item of the Day: The New World of Words (1706)

Full Title: The New World of Words: or, Universal English Dictionary. Containing An Account of the Original or Proper Sense, and Various Significations of all Hard Words derived from other Languages, viz. Hebrew, Arabick, Syriack, Greek, Latin, Italian, French, Spanish, British, Saxon, Danish, Dutch, &c. as now made use of in our English Tongue. Together with A Brief and Plain Explication of all Terms relating to any of the Arts and Sciences, either Liberal or Mechanical, viz. Grammar, Rhetorick, Logick, Theology, Law, Metaphysicks, Ethicks, Natural Philosophy, Physick, Surgery, Anatomy, Chymistry, Pharmacy, Botanicks, Arithmetick, Geometry, Astronomy, Astrology, Cosmography, Geography, Hydrography, Navigation, Architecture, Fortification, Dialling, Surveying, Gauging, Opticks, Catoptricks, Dioptricks, Perspective, Musick, Mechanicks, Staticks, Chiromancy, Phsiognomy, Heraldry, Merchandize, Maritime and Military Affairs, ¬†Agriculture, Gardening, Handicrafts, Jewelling, Painting, Carving, Engraving, Confectionery, cookery, Horsemanship, Hawking, Hunting, Fowling, Fishing, &c. To which is Added, The Interpretation of Proper Names of Men and Women, that derive their Original from the above-mention’d Ancient and Modern Tongues, with those of Writs and Processes at Law: Also the Greek and Latin Names of divers sorts of Animals, Plants, Metals, Minerals, &c. and several other remarkable Matters more particularly express’d in the Prefece. Compikled by Edward Phillips, Gent. The Sixth Edition, Revised, Corrected, and Improved; with the Addition of near Twenty Thousand Words, from the Best Authors, Domestick and Foreign, by J. K., Philobibl.¬† . . . London: Printed for J. Phillips, at the King’s-Arms in S. Paul’s Churc-Yard; H. Rhodes, at the Star, the Corner of Bride-Lane, in Fleet-street; and J. Taylor, at the Ship in S. Paul’s Church-yard. MDCCVI.




The Publick being very sensible of the great Advantage and Usefulness of DICTIONARIES, as is evident from the general Acceptation that many New Ones, in most Faculties, have lately met with, it were altogether needless to insist on that Topick, but it is requisite to give some Account of the present Undertaking, and to shew what Improvements are here made to the Elaborate Work of our Ingenious Country-man Mr. Edward Phillips, the Merit of which has been already sufficiently made known to the World by the Sale of Five Several Impressions.

THE Whole has been carefully Revis’d, in order to correct Faults, supply Defects, and retrench Superfluities; and it was judg’d expedient to leave out all Abstracts of the Lives of Eminent Person, Poetical Fictions, Geographical Descriptions of Places, &c. (except a few that serve to illustrate or explain other Terms, which have their Derivation from, or some Dependance on them) in regard that they are already treated of at large, in several particular Dictionaries. In the room of these, are inserted near Twenty thousand hard Words and Terms in all Arts and Sciences, which are not be be found in the former Editions of this Work, nor in any other General Dictionary whatsoever; that is to say, such Terms as relate to Divinity, the Civil and Canon Law, the Common and Stature Laws of this Realm, Moral and Natual Philosophy, Metaphysicks, Mathemeticks, Botanicks, Musick, Physick, Surgery, Anatomy, Chymistry, Pharmacy, Confectionery, Cookery, Maritime and Military Affairs, Merchandixe, Husbandry, Horsemanship, Handicrafts,¬†and Manufactures: . . .

This Collection is made out of the most Approved Authors, and the best Originals the present Age affords; and ’tis far the largest of any hitherto extant, (as it has been already hinted) in regard that it contains all manner of difficult Words and Terms of Art, which are to be found in any Writers of Note: So that now, more than ever, it may be justly said to Answer the title of The New World of Words, Universal Dictionary, or Compleat Glossography. As for the individual Terms, care has been taken every where to set down their Original and Proper Signification, which tends very much to clear up the several Senses wherein they are now generally receiv’d: And they are also explain’d with all possible Perspicuity and Brevity. so as not to interpret any hard Word by others that are as little intelligible, at least not so obvious to Persons who are not well vers’d in Polite Literature; a Fault too frequent in Performances of this Nature.

And farther, although it be no Part of our Design, to teach the Liberal or Mechanical Arts and Sciences, as a late Learned Author has attempted to do; nevertheless, it may be fairly affirm’d, there are many Principles and Rules laid down, with apposite Hints, and Remarks throughout the whole Work, which may give Light even to the Knowledge of those Arts: So as to be of very good Use to young Students and Practitioners of every Profession; as also to Foreigners, who are desirous to be acquainted with the Terms and peculiar Idioms of our English Tongue; which is now so far improv’d, that for Copiousness, variety of Style, clearness and elegancy of Expression, and other Advantages, it may be said to equal, if not surpass, all other Modern Languages.

To conclude, if this Undertaking meet with a favourable Reception among the Judicious, it will be an ample Recompence for the great Pains taken by the Publisher, who is ever ambitious to approve himself,

Their very humble servant,

John Kersey.



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Filed under 1700's, Dictionaries, Language, Posted by Caroline Fuchs