John Jamieson’s Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language (1808) was the first complete dictionary of Scots and is a landmark in the development of historical lexicography. This book is the first full‐scale study of Jamieson’s work on both the Dictionary and the later Supplement of 1825. Using Jamieson’s correspondence and surviving manuscript sources, it traces the evolution of the Dictionary project, from Jamieson’s early linguistic fieldwork to the production and promotion of the Dictionary over twenty years later. It discusses Jamieson’s editorial methods and examines in detail the content of the Dictionary, highlighting Jamieson’s pioneering of the historical method, as well as his innovative use of contemporary and popular sources. It also reveals how Jamieson continually revised and updated his text, aided by a growing number of contributors and specialist consultants – among them Sir Walter Scott – and describes how his work was supplemented by later editors, ensuring that the Dictionary dominated Scots lexicography for over a century, providing inspiration to generations of creative writers, as well as source material for the major historical dictionaries of English and Scots that were to follow
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