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

About TOE Online

TOE Online is the Old English Thesaurus as a searchable database.

There are five types of search available. For how to operate the searches go to Search Menu and choose your search.

Description of searches:

1. Old English Word Search
There are two alternative searches, an exact form search and a wildcard search.
1.1 Exact Form Search
There are two alternative searches, enabling the user to search for an Old English word with or without using length-marks on the vowels.
The initial result shows a list of the locations of the word in TOE, from which the user must choose. The next result shows a word-list displaying the target word highlighted in its Thesaurus context. From this results page there is a further option to view any editorial comments which might be available for the target word.
1.2 Wildcard Search
This search is useful if the user is unsure of the exact form of the Old English target word, e.g. whether it has a ge prefix. It is also useful for finding compounds, which are a feature of Old English lexis. The results of this search are firstly a list of TOE locations where the target word is found, then, by choosing a location, a word-list showing the target word highlighted in its Thesaurus context, as in the Exact Form Search.

2. Modern English Word Search
This search is useful if the user is looking for Old English words for a specified concept. It is somewhat like a Modern to Old English dictionary, except that the Modern English vocabulary is confined to the words found in the headings of the categories in TOE, and the result shows a wider area of lexis around the target concept.
The initial result lists all the headings where the target word occurs in TOE. Choosing from this list takes the user to the appropriate area of the thesaurus displaying the Old English vocabulary.

3. Browsing Searches
There are two alternative searches: browsing an alphabetically ordered list of TOE category headings or browsing a list of the category headings in the order in which they appear in TOE.
3.1 Alphabetical List
Choosing a heading results in display of the whole of the chosen TOE category, with subheadings and Old English word-lists.
3.2 TOE Browse
The series of choices here takes the user through the hierarchy of categories in the chosen area of interest, resulting in a display of the chosen TOE category, with subheadings and Old English word-lists as in 3.1.

4. Searches on the flags g, o and p, used in TOE to indicate restricted occurrence of the words to which they are attached. This type of search is significant as Old English has a proportionately large number of words of restricted occurrence due to the nature and quantity of extant texts. The searches on each of the flags give the alternatives of searching either the whole of TOE or a chosen major category.
4.1 Whole TOE search
This search results in a list of all the words in TOE to which the selected flag is attached.
4.2 Search by major category
The series of choices here takes the user through the hierarchy of categories in TOE, resulting in a display of the words to which the selected flag is attached in a chosen category only.

5. Search for Old English Phrases
TOE is a unique source for finding Old English phrases, as they are more fully recorded here and more easily found than in dictionaries.There are three choices here:
5.1 Old English Phrases
This search displays all the lexical items in TOE which consist of more than one word.
5.2 Phrase by grammatical category
This search offers the choice of selecting only phrases used as nouns, verbs, etc.
5.3 Phrase Search
This search finds the thesaurus location of a phrase or part of a phrase entered by the user.

All of the above Old English phrase searches offer the user the further option of viewing the phrase in its Thesaurus context.