In praise of Edward Phillips

John Considine


The aim of this paper is to rescue the reputation of the much-maligned seventeenth-century English lexicographer Edward Phillips. He has been accused of plagiarizing in his dictionary called New world of English words (1658) from an earlier dictionary, Thomas Blount’s Glossographia (1656), and he has been accused of claiming misleadingly that his dictionary was enriched by the contributions of consultants. Both accusations were originally made by Blount. Examining them both – which requires the use of techniques from the history of the book and the social history of science and technology – leads to the conclusion that neither accusation is true, and that Phillips actually made multiple original contributions to the development of the English lexicographical tradition, particularly in the use of consultants and the handling of technological vocabulary.

Słowa kluczowe: English lexicography, plagiarism, dictionary consultants
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