Eadwig portrait penny
Thesaurus of Old English
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Eadwig portrait penny Thesaurus of Old English

About TOE

TOE Online is an electronic version of the second impression of A Thesaurus of Old English, first published by King’s College London in 1995. Printed copies of the second impression (2000) are available from Rodopi of Amsterdam. A full account of the genesis and rationale of the project is contained in the introduction to these volumes.

The main purpose of TOE Online is to facilitate word retrieval by allowing the user to proceed direct to an entry without the need to consult the index or understand the overall structure of the thesaurus. Results are presented in thesaurus format. At the same time, we have devised searches of special relevance to Old English, such as the facility to search on parts of words. Three of the four flags attached to word forms in the printed version can also be searched for new insights into the structure and distribution of the surviving OE lexicon. These are:

o– indicating that a word form is very infrequent
p– indicating words that seem to occur only in poetry
g– indicating words that usually appear in glossed texts or glossaries
q– indicates a doubtful form but is not searchable.

A novel feature of TOE Online is the inclusion of a comments field, which records more information about sources and other discussion points. Headword forms are usually those found in Clark Hall’s A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (4th ed., Cambridge, 1960), though sometimes follow other sources. Part of speech labels have been included for the first time. For eth/thorn we have used þ throughout. Search words can be submitted with or without length marks and are entered following the system used by the Dictionary of Old English and Middle English Dictionary.

We are extremely grateful to the British Academy for funding this project under grant LRG - 37362. We would also like to thank Joanne Grant of Glasgow Media Services, who designed the website, and all our colleagues at Glasgow and elsewhere who advised on content and tested proto versions. As with other aspects of our work, TOE will serve as a pilot study for an online Historical Thesaurus of English.

We hope that you enjoy using TOE Online. If you have any comments for its future development, we would be delighted to hear from you. We plan to update the resource periodically, adding new material and other improvements, such as alphabetical listing of results.

Flora Edmonds, Christian Kay, Jane Roberts, Irené Wotherspoon
Glasgow, May 2005