American Dictionary of the English Language (1828 Edition)

Discussion in 'Survival Reading Room' started by melbo, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    This is the original dictionary authored and published by Noah Webster (The father of American Education). My wife bought me this as a Christmas present and I've spent hours looking up words to see how far the meanings have changed since then.


    Here's an example of the differences:

    From The New Collegiate Dictionary:
    Law: a binding custom or practice of a community; a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority. (This definition continues for two inches of one column of space.)

    Does that definition sound okay for the meaning of "law?" Maybe, but if you consider the alternative, absolutely not. Let’s look at the dictionary that bases definitions upon the authority of original languages and the Bible—the American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster, published in 1828.

    From The American Dictionary of the English Language (1828)
    Law: A rule, particularly an established or permanent rule, prescribed by the supreme power of a state to its subjects, for regulating their actions, particularly their social actions. Laws are imperative or mandatory, commanding what shall be done; prohibitory, restraining from what is to be forborne; or permissive, declaring what may be done without incurring a penalty. The laws which enjoin the duties of piety and morality, are prescribed by God and found in the Scriptures. (This definition continues for twenty-one inches of three columns of space!)

    Will it make a difference to this student’s understanding of law which definition he spends time studying? How will he understand law from the first definition? What is the implication of "custom” in the first dictionary versus "rule” in the second one? What is the implication of law being defined as "prescribed” or "recognized” rather than "mandatory,” "commanding,” "prohibitory” or "permissive?” What will be his view of authority and enforcement? What will be his sense of responsibility for law?

    Does the second definition establish a different source and authority for law? What philosophical position will be inculcated by the second definition? What theology?

    A couple more examples:

    The act of uniting a man and woman for life... Marriage was instituted by God himself. . . . "Marriage is honorable in all. . . ." Heb. 13.

    1981 and woman are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family. . .an intimate or close union


    Education comprehends. . . instruction and discipline intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give them a religious education is indispensable.

    the action or process of [developing mentally or morally]


    Conformity to fact or reality. . . . We rely on the truth of scriptural prophecies. "Sanctify them through thy truth. . . . " John 17

    sincerity in action, character, and utterance. . . the body of real thing. . . a judgment. . . that is true or accepted as true.​

    At $56, this massive hardcover book should by on every bookshelf in America. She got mine from Amazon.

    American Dictionary of the English Language (1828 Facsimile Edition): Noah Webster: 9780912498034: Books
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
    Ganado, Brokor, techsar and 2 others like this.
  2. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    That is an awesome book! I have a 70's edition of Webster's Encyclopedia of Dictionaries - I just love it. :)

    You made me look:
    honesty; conformity to fact or reality; veracity; constancy; true statement; undisputed fact.
  3. eeyore

    eeyore Monkey+++

    It is one of the best dictionaries on the market.

    You can also get it in CD format also, you can get it as part of a download package from esword,(but it has to be used in conjunction with its bible program)
    melbo likes this.
  4. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    honourable / honorable

    It truly would be nice if you could spell English , lets not stop there , METRIC , the world is , but USA is not in the 49 , but in space / military etc , Ayup !!!

    Do you wonder why they are teaching you confusion

    I know Bangers & Pees over Pigs in a blanket , not saying we have weird "WORD's"

    Even the french in France & Quebec have different speech , but SPELL the same , Asian the same with two tongues but one script ..

    But !!
    Engilsh / Anglish/Inglish/Cnglish/ or real English , The Queens !!!


    Funnin Ya's

    Edit :
    Of course I do like spell check ;)
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  5. pegleg

    pegleg Monkey+

    I have an 1825 dictionary, I think it was the second published in Philadelphia. What has struck me is how the definition of terms relating to women has changed. In 1825, almost every word relating to women ended up (3rd, 4th etc meaning) also meaning "whore" or something equally abhorrent. That has changed, fortunately.
  6. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    Good old Noah wrote his book so the politicos could NOT change the meaning of the words used in the Constitution! Of course that won't keep them from trying.

    Nothing has changed in the history of the world, the honest try to do right and the crooks change/steal or otherwise screw things up for the rest of us.
  7. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    If you really want to have fun, go get a BLACKS LAW DIC and look up the meaning of words! Then go get the 1st Blacks and the current Blacks and look at the changes! Then compare that/them to a 1825 dictionary! And you wonder why you get shafted in court...
    Brokor likes this.
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Especially if you have an old copy of Black's Law and there are no longer the same terms even defined in the current editions!

    Example: "Bank Holiday of March 6, 1933" (found under the B's since it's an alphabetical dictionary, duh...- Sixth Edition *not every Sixth Edition, either*) And in later editions....vanished. Not there at all.
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