9*s. ix. APRIL 5, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
NOTES ON BOOKS, &c.
The English Dialect Dictionary. Edited by Joseph Wright, M.A., Ph.D. Parts XI. and XII. Ha- Jinkding ; Parts XIII. and XIV. JinkeaLyven. (Frowde.)
SPLENDID progress is being made by ' The English Dialect Dictionary,' which has now overtaken ind passed the great ' Dictionary ' of Dr. J. A. H. lurray and his collaborators. The two double . irts now issued comprise the letters H, I, /, K y and L, and constitute the third volume. Half the work is now ill the hands of the sub- jribers, and the whole, consisting of 4,600 pages, may be expected before the close of 1905. Vol. IV., M to Q, is already in type, and Vol. V., R and S, is in course of being printed. The sixth and concluding volume will comprise the letters T to Z, the supplement, a bibliography of the many thousands of books specially excerpted for the ' Dictionary,' and a comprehensive comparative grammar of all the dialects treated historically. We have followed carefully the progress of the dictionary, which, since the initial stages were passed, has been creditably rapid, and have expressed frequently our sense of the thoroughness of the workmanship and the energy and enterprise of Prof. Wright, to whom the inception and the execution are due. In more than one respect the task of classifying, explaining, and illustrating a vocabulary so fluctuating is more difficult than that of supplying a complete lexicon of the written language. At any rate, Prof. Wright will soon be able to boast of having supplied his countrymen with a possession such as no other country can boast a complete and scientific treatment of the whole of our dialects. It is needless to dwell on the labour that has been involved, first in the collection of materials, and then in classifica- tion, arrangement, and explanation. It suffices to say that to the philologist and to the student of local customs the dictionary is indispensable ; and that the general student will find in the illus- trative quotations matters of unending interest. it is pleasant to think that as the merits of the dictionary become more widely known the amount of support accorded it augments. Not yet is this nearly adequate to repay or to clear from heavy responsibility those who have undertaken and accomplished a task of importance truly national. A scheme is, however, advanced by which with a minimum of trouble and outlay adequate support may be accorded. In addition to a complete vocabulary of all the dialect words which are known to have been in use in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales during the last two hundred years, the dictionary includes American and colonial dialect words which are still in use in this country or are to be found in early printed dialect books and glossaries. Popular customs and superstitions, rural games and pas- times, and the like are all dealt with, and the work is thus commended to the ethnologist and the folk- lorist as well as the general reader. Before it is complete it is computed that over 100,000 words and about 500,000 quotations and references will be supplied. Dialect and folk-speech are rapidly dis- appearing, and had the task now in course of accomplishment been much longer delayed its
execution would have been impossible. The book will, accordingly, be final, and can never grow out of date. The very extent of the information sup- plied prohibits us from giving an idea of the con- tents. We could select scores nay, hundreds of words of unfailing interest and importance which are rich in illustrations of country occupations and pursuits. It is natural to find that very many of the words have been the subject of discussion in our columns. See, for instance, hod?nandod ) in its first meaning of a snail with its shell, and innumer- able others. To take one's hair o#=to surprise greatly, suggests by contrast the modern slang " Keep your hair on." Headache as a name for the common red poppy is common (see 3 rd S. viii. 274). Letter-gae for a precentor has been discussed in the Eighth and Ninth Series, and level best in the Eighth Series. Scarcely a page is there in which reference is not made to our columns, and there is none which does not supply matter curious, instructive, or edifying.
Chr. Fr. Grieb's Dictionary of the English and German Languages. By Arnold Schroer, Ph.D. 2 vols. Vol. I. English and German. (Frowde.) FOR practical purposes the student finds the * Eng- lish and German Dictionary ' of Herr Grieb the most trustworthy and generally available. Testi- mony to its merits is found in the fact that it has now reached a tenth edition. Under the direction of Dr. Schroer, the Professor of English Philology in the University of Freiburg, this has been re- arranged, revised, and enlarged, to the great gain of the student. To judge of the full effect of the additions we must wait for the second volume, German and English, which is necessarily the more serviceable to the English scholar. With its 1350 pages, the present volume is the most compre- hensive with which we are acquainted. It is also the most scientific and up to date, the ' New English Dictionary,' so far as it has progressed, having been laid constantly under contribution. Reference to any familiar word will show how full is the information imparted. For scholastic pur- poses and for private study it will, when completed, be the best English-German dictionary available.
The. English Catalogue of Books for 1901. (Sampson
Low & Co.)
THIS indispensable companion of the bookseller and the bibliophile has reached its sixty-fifth year of issue. We draw annually attention to its merits and make constant use of its pages. For our own purposes we find it the most prized and trustworthy of authorities.
MR. W. L. COURTNEY, the editor, writes in the Fortnightly on * Modern Social Drama as Influenced by the Novel.' To the influence of the novel Mr. Courtney attributes the fact that the modern drama, instead of ending on a clear and unmistakable note, now more often than not finishes with a note of interrogation. It might, perhaps, be urged in answer that novel and drama both share the absence of conviction which is the difficulty of modern life. It is true, as Mr. Courtney maintains, that a dramatist must not be content to paint with servile fidelity what he sees, but must bring something out of his own genius. Another article on the condition of theatrical art is Dr. Todhuuters 'Poetic Drama and its Prospects on the Stage.' This, as will be expected by the .reader, deals with