Guide To Language Sources
- Acronyms. Initialisms & Abbreviations Dictionary
(Twenty-third Edition 1997) (3 Parts). Ref. P 365 .A28 1997.
Reverse Acronyms, Initialisms & Abbreviations Dictionary
(Nineteenth Edition 1995) (3 Parts). Edited by Jennifer Mossman.
Detroit, MI: Gale Research Co., 1994. Ref. P 365 .A28 1995.
- This dictionary gives the meaning of over 300,000 acronyms, initialism and
abbreviations from all fields. The companion reverse volumes are arranged
by meaning and give the appropriate acronym or initialism.
- De Sola, Ralph. Abbreviations Dictionary (Augmented International
Seventh Edition). New York: Elsevier, 1986. Ref. PE 1693 .D4 1986.
- Explains abbreviations, acronyms, appellations, contractions and
geographical equivalents. Entries are arranged alphabetically.
Has separate lists for such categories as airports of the world and
- Unabridged dictionaries can be found on the atlas case as well as in the
reference room stacks in PE 1625. A selection of abridged
dictionaries is kept behind the reference desk. We also have specialized
dictionaries, such as a reprint of James Buchanan's Dictionary from 1757
(PE 1620 .B8 1757a).
- The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots. Revised and edited
by Calvert Watkins. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1985.
Ref. P 615 .A43 1985.
- "A revised and expanded version of the Appendix of Indo-European Roots
in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language,
published in 1969." Under each entry it gives a definition, words based
on the root and an etymology of the root.
- Partridge, Eric. Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern
English. New York: Macmillan Company, 1958.
Ref. PE 1580 .P3 1959.
- Gives origins of many English words. The number of entries is
comparativley small but it "treats all important words comprehensively
- The Oxford English Dictionary (Second Edition). Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C.
Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. (20 volumes).
Ref. PE 1625 .O87 1989.
- Besides serving as a regular dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary
has an extensive morphology for each word, including the actual origin
of the word, its subsequent history and miscellaneous facts about the
history of the word.
- Shipley, Joseph T. The Origins of English Words. Baltimore, MD:
The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984. Ref. PE 1571 .S46 1984.
- Alphabetical arrangement of Indo-European roots. Under each entry
discusses words and phrases that came from the root. Has an index of
English words indicating the root(s) under which each word appears.
- Foreign Language Dictionaries
- We have an extensive collection of foreign language dictionaries, covering
languages ranging from Albanian (PG 9591 .D7 1957) to Samoan
(PL6501 .Z5 M5). The Cassell's series covers the more
commonly used languages such as Italian (PC 1640 .C33 1959).
French (PC 2640 .C3 1962), and Spanish
(PS 4640 .C35 1960).
- Guinagh, Kevin. Dictionary of Foreign Phrases and Abbreviations
(Third Edition). New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1983.
Ref. PE 1670 .G8 1983.
- "Has been compiled to aid those who wish to know the meaning of
foreign expressions in what they hear or read." Defines foreign
phrases and abbreviations that are often used in English works.
Includes quotes from many different languages, with Latin and French
- Most dictionaries give the correct pronunciation of a word but there are
also special dictionaries for pronunciation.
- Lass, Abraham and Lass, Betty. Dictionary of Pronunciation.
New York: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co., 1976.
Ref. PE 1137 .L38.
- Contains 8,000 words that "pose various kinds pronunciation problems
for all sorts of people." Gives the possible pronunciations
recorded in four major dictionaries and tells how many of the
dictionaries agree with each pronunciation. Indicates preferred
pronunciations. Pronunciation key appears on each page.
- Fergusson, Rosalind. The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary. Middlesex,
England: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1985 Ref. PE 1519 .F4 1985.
- Includes all the words one would expect to find in a standard English
dictionary -- except those with no rhymes. Words which rhyme are
grouped together. An alphabetic index directs the users to the proper
group. Short definitions are given for the more obscure words.
- Slang Words, Expressions, and Euphemisms
- Ciardi, John. A Second Browser's Dictionary and Native's Guide to the
Unknown American Language. New York: Harper & Row, 1983.
Ref. PE 1574 .C56 1983.
- Gives definitions, origins, history of and comments on words, mainly
slang words, euphemism and unusual words and phrases.
- New Dictionary of American Slang. Edited by Robert Chapman.
New York: Harper & Row,1986. Ref.PE 2846 .C46 1986.
- Up-to-date. Entries include defintions and quotations. Often gives
the social group and time period in which the word or phrase originated.
Aim was to make a dictionary of current American slang but some older
terms are included. Based on Wentworth's Dictionary of American
Slang (PE 2846 .W4 1975).
- Partridge, Eric A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English
(Eighth Edition). New York: Macmillian Publising Co., 1984.
Ref. PE 3721 .P3 1984.
- Standard slang dictionary. Concentrates on British slang, including
many older terms. Gives the date when the word or term was first used
- Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary. Edited by
Laurence Urdang. Detroit, MI: Gale Research Company, 1980.
Ref. PE 1689 .P5.
- Defines more than 3,000 expressions and gives their origins.
Expressions are grouped by topic, such as "mischief" or " physical
appearance," "making the book similar in function to a thesaurus."
Includes an index to the phrases.
- Rawson, Hugh. A Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk.
New York: Crown Publishers Inc., 1981. Ref. PE 1449 .R34 1981.
- Includes both positive and negative euphemisms. Gives definitions,
discusses where the term originated, how it is used and other related
terms. Usually gives quotations using the euphemism.
- Synonyms and Antonyms
- Maggio, Rosalie. The Nonsexist Word Finder: A Dictionary of
Gender-Free Usage. Phoenix: Oryx Press. 1987.
Ref. PE 1689 .M23 1987.
- "Designed to help writers solve the recurring problems created by
sexist language." Gives alternatives for sexist words and phrases
(i.e., "act like a man"). Also contains nonsexist words that could
be mistaken for sexist words ("manipulate." from the Latin for hand).
Appendix includes articles on nonsexist writing. Also has a
- The Random House Thesaurus (College Edition). Edited by Jess Stein
and Stuart Berg Flexner. New York: Random House. 1984.
Ref. PE 1591 .R28 1984.
- Helps you find "the most effective word to express a thought." Words
are arranged alphabetically. Also includes antonyms for each entry.
- Roget's International Thesaurus (Fourth Edition). Revised by Robert L.
Chapman. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1977. Ref. PE 1591 .R73
- "Has a text of about 250,000 words and phrases, arranged in
categories by their meanings, and a comprehensive index." Terms
within a category are organized by part of speech. Includes a
synopsis of categories.
- Fowler, H.W. A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (Second Edition). London:
Oxford University Press, 1965. Ref. PE 1628 .F65 1965.
- Mostly concerned with British usage. Covers word usage, formation of
words and their spelling, pronunciation, punctuation and typography.
Also contains extended entries on some topics such as the use of the
word "like" and headline language.
- Morris, William and Morris, Mary. Harper Dictionary of Contemporary
Usage (Second Edition). New York: Harper & Row, 1985.
Ref. PE 1680 .M59 1985.
- Purpose is "to show the standards of linguistic usage adhered to by
those who use the language well." Gives correct usage of terms,
British and American meanings of words, explains slang terms, gives
pronunciation of terms and explains what terms related to language
mean (i.e., adverb).
- Word Origins
- Hendrickson, Robert. Human Words. Philadelphia: Chilton Book
Co., 1972. Ref. PE 1596 .H4.
- Includes more than 3,500 words whose origin comes from the name of a
real person, group of people or animal endowed with human
characteristics. Entires, some rather lengthy, tell about the person
and how his name became part of the language.
- Morris, William and Morris, Mary. Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase
Origins. New York: Harper & Row. 1977. Ref. PE 1580 .M6 1977.
- Aim "is to trace the histories of several thousand of the more
interesting English words and phrases." Also gives definitions.
Compiled by Kelly Nagle, Summer 1988