Sunday, May 14, 2017

Burgess Unabridged

Gelett Burgess - Burgess Unabridged: A New Dictionary of Words You Have Always Needed (1914) direct link
Open Library main page

The next (and last for this blog) in The Guardian's Top 10 dictionaries is this collection of invented words which seems a bit like cheating to me.  Sure it's in dictionary form but it's primarily a humor book and only one of the words passed into common usage - this is apparently the source for "blurb".  (I haven't checked the OED to verify.)

Gelett Burgess (1866-1951) was a Boston native and graduate of MIT who moved to San Francisco to teach at Berkeley.  He became a writer, mainly of humorous works but also including kids books, novels, short stories and the occasional political piece.  His poem "Purple Cow" is still in currency (or at least I learned it as a child so I'll just extrapolate from that to the entire country).