Most helpful positive review
92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
Definitive and indispensable - excellent for research.
on 8 October 2000
This Anglo-Saxon Dictionary is indispensable when reading texts written in Old English. After struggling with various word-lists and glossaries, as an amateur reader I have come to the conclusion that this is the definitive Anglo-Saxon "word-hoard" (over 400 pages).
Most of the words are referenced to their original sources - which is useful when determining whether or not words and compound phrases were unique to poem like Beowulf or were common throughout other texts - including poems, prose and charters. Words specific to certain regional dialects are also noted (i.e. "Anglian", "West Saxon", "Early Kentish" etc.).
The translation is one-way - Anglo-Saxon to Modern English and much effort has gone into the inclusion of multiple spellings of the same words. Some knowledge of grammar may be required to gain the full potential from this dictionary. The text is identical to the 1960 edition (4th ed.), but appears surprisingly modern when you take into account that the first edition was published in 1894.
This book is a perfect supplement for casual readers of Old English and scholars alike. It might also a must for etymologists who like to have the last word(!)