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What's New


LEME has settled into bright new quarters in two offices and a carrell on the 14th floor of Robarts Library. My thanks to Larry Alford (Chief Librarian), Sian Meikle (Associate Chief Librarian for Digital Strategies and Technology, and LEME's Library Liaison), and Arts and Science for giving us this high-demand space. The Library also generously furnished LEME offices with new furniture and workstations. Meanwhile, Kelli Babcock (Digital Initiatives Librarian) and her programming team continue to maintain the editorial functions of LEME 2.0. Their work makes our work possible. The Library undertook its programming support for LEME from its own resources, a warm testimony to the respect it has for Early Modern English lexicography. Special thanks are owed to Julian Mitchell (Coordinator, Capital Projects), who managed this move smoothly with the help of Stephen Hong (Computer Systems) and LEME's volunteering Sharine Leung. This happened at a time when Library staff and LEME were working from their homes and access to Roberts Library was difficult. 

The University of Toronto Arts and Science computing facility, IITS (Information and Instructional Technology Services), is the base for LEME's XML corpus, which is published in and downloadable from the Library's TSpace Repository ( Priya Murugaiah (Manager, Infrastructure, Server and Networking at IITS) has warmly welcomed LEME as users of a new facility that grew out of EPAS (the Economics, Policy Analysis, and Sociology data library), CCH (the Centre for Computing in the Humanities, of which I was founding director from 1985 to 1996), and their joint successor CHASS (Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences). 

Sharine Leung joined LEME on July 1 to harmonize and expedite the release of our texts. She joined CCH in 1987 to serve the graduate computer lab on the 14th floor of Robarts Library, after which she organized and operated the New College undergraduate computer lab until her recent retirement. She returns to LEME in Room 14221, an office of her own, next to that of Anne Lancashire, editor of the Mayors and Sheriffs of London database. Sharine has so far uploaded 138 XML-encoded LEME texts onto TSpace and documented them on our IIT website Chronology. We are especially grateful to Mariya Maistrovskaya for helping us learn how to navigate TSpace. 

I occupy an ample carrell, Room 14244, which has windows overlooking Toronto West, including a piece of Lake Ontario. I continue adding to our reference bibliography of 1,550 lexical texts, 1475-1755, and to the Library's LEME database. LEME will continue to supply lexical data to the community of Early Modern language linguists and historians. A final unexpected consequence of the pandemic has been the time to write my history of vocabulary growth from 1475-1625, a work promised 15 years ago and delayed all too long by other responsibilities. 

In September, LEME welcomed three work-study students, Kristie Lui (Psychology and Critical Theory), who is lemmatizing Cotgrave's French-English lexicon (1611), Fatemeh Khavaninzadeh (Linguistics and Anthropology), who is checking and editing post-1625 texts for conversion to XML), and Antara Singh (Computer Science), who is programming a proper-name database for our texts. Sky Li, our student programmer for the last three years, will leave us for graduate studies soon. He produced our Arts and Science website, a valuable prototype XML database for 1475-1625, an analysis of sources, and a very useful mapping of LEME lexemes to OED headwords. Sky undertook the XML database work largely at his home in Boston during the pandemic.

For half a dozen years I have been honoured to have had the counsel of the Chairman of the Department of English, Paul Stevens, who long ago was a student in my graduate seminar of Bibliography II (Early Modern English). LEME owes much to Paul, a world-renowned Miltonist and Early Modernist. 


  • Plain Texts Released. On October 14 nearly all plain texts of LEME works were made downloadable. They include some twenty large dictionaries, including Florio's New World of Words (Italian-English; 1611), all four editions of Robert Cawdrey's Table, Henry Hexham's Dutch-English dictionary (1647-48), Sir Thomas Blount's Glossographia (English; 1656), and large eighteenth-century English dictionaries by John Kersey (1702), Benjamin Norton Defoe (1735), Nathan Bailey (1737), and Samuel Johnson (1755). We are releasing encoded XML versions of texts as they are completed and hope that students and researchers will enjoy working with plain LEME texts that can live on their own computers and with their own programs and yet exact a minimum of upkeep.
  • New LEME quarters. The University of Toronto Library has moved LEME from an under-construction seventh floor of Robarts Library into three attractive, well-furnished new offices on the 14th floor, not far from the Dictionary of Old English. Since March, everyone at LEME has been working remotely, linked to our Library workstations as needed. That will continue into 2021. This move was generously supported by the Chief Librarian Larry Alford and IT Director Sian Meikle, and organized by the genial, indispensable Julian Mitchell: my heartfelt thanks to them and all others involved in this move.
  • LEME Staff in 2020-2021. This autumn I am very happy to welcome back programmer Sky Li and lemmatizer Kristie Lui as work-study students, and to have programmer Victoria Spada join us for the first time. Volunteer Sharine Leung has returned to manage the documentation, checking, and uploading of Corpus texts, of which 90 are now on TSpace. Both Kristie and Sharine continued at LEME over the summer with two more work-study students, Maya Blumenthal (who began transcribing a 1590s Hebrew-English dictionary and will finish it next year) and Diana Gil Hamel (who undertook the essays of the Elizabethan Society of Antiquaries).
  • The Editor's "Word-entry patterns in Early Modern English dictionaries" has been published by De Gruyter Mouton in Patterns in Language and Linguistics: New Perspectives on a Ubiquitous Concept (2019), edited by Beatrix Busse and Ruth Möhlig-Falke (pp. 69-95), for whose patience and encouragement I am very thankful, having taxed it at times.
  • LEME Review Committee. On March 13 a review committee for LEME met, via Zoom or in person, at the Department of English, University of Toronto. I asked both members of the LEME Advisory Board and unaffiliated scholars to give me their views on the current state of the project.  The group assessors included Terttu Nevalainen (Helsinki, Varieng), Carol Percy (Toronto), Paul Schaffner (Michigan), Rebecca Shapiro (CUNY), Ray Siemens (Victoria), and David Williams (Waterloo). I very much appreciate their help and encouragement, especially on that day, when the University of Toronto itself closed because of COVID-19. We focused on how the Corpus should be supported long-term and equally on how it might support future research on the English language. The committee's willingness to carry on under the circumstances was itself inspiring.
  • LEME Corpus, Part 1 (1475-1625). Release of xml-encoded texts from this period for downloading began on January 31 through the Corpus website at (Arts and Science Information and Instructional Technology) and TSpace at (University of Toronto Library). Because the University Library and with it the LEME laboratory had to shut their doors in March, two weeks ago Sharine Leung and I began working again -- remotely on the Library network --  to continue uploading Corpus files.
  • Release of LEME Samuel Johnson Dictionary (TEI) to Johnson's Dictionary Online (Dr. Beth Rapp Young). Under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International  (CC BY 4.0) license, LEME has donated its XML-encoded text of Samuel  Johnson's 1755 folio edition of A Dictionary of the English Language to “Johnson’s Dictionary Online: A Searchable Edition of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language (1755, 1773)” (, a project led by Dr. Beth Rapp Young, University of Central Florida. Dr. Young plans to release her 1755 edition online  in the fall of 2020. LEME anticipates releasing its text sometime in 2021. Our best wishes go to Dr. Young and her colleagues in their NEH-funded project.
  • LEME Database. I want to thank the Library, especially programmer Monica Ung and her supervisor Kelli Babcock for their steadfast fine-tuning of the database software for both the public and LEME editors. As of April 23, the database has 282 texts and 1,140,00 word-entries. 


  • David Vancil: in "Two Online Collections, Green's Dictionary of Slang and the LEME," our long-time Advisory Board member, David Vancil, has described Jonathon Green's Dictionary of Slang and the latest state of the LEME for readers of the Dictionary Society of North America's News ( We are especially pleased that David recommends that dictionary lovers visit these two "indispensible resources" to discover what they enable researchers to do.
  • Downloading Texts: recent plain-text versions of the following are available for download.
    • John Palsgrave's Lesclarcissement (1530). Work on this began in 1986.
  • Recent LEME texts in progress:
    • Sex Linguarum (1537)
    • John Minsheu's Ductor in Linguas (1617): headwords only.
    • William Wotton's Short View of George Hickes's Grammatico-Critical and Archaeological Treasure of the Ancient Northern Languages (1735).
    • Robert Cawdrey A Table Alphabetical (1613).
    • Giles Du Wés, An Introductory for to Learn to Read, to Pronounce, and to Speak French Truly (1533).
  • Welcomed Visitors: Rebecca Shapiro, (CUNY); Rachel Fletcher (Glasgow).
  • LEME Staff in 2019: Isabelle Zhu (Assistant Editor), Xueqi (Sherry) Fan (lemmatization programmer), Lisa Marando (text editing), Julia DaSilva (text checking and finalization), Dr. Paramita Dutta (additions to OED), Eric Schnell (text editing), Shirley Wang (corpus programming), Sky Li (sources discovery programming), Cassandra Olsen (text editing), Rachael Tu (text editing), and Sharine Leung (text editing).
  •  LEME now has 278 lexical works with a total of 1,140,000 word-entries.
  • Other Related Publications: 
    • Ian Lancashire, "Word-entry patterns in Early Modern English dictionaries." Patterns in Language and Linguistics New Perspectives on a Ubiquitous Concept. Ed. Beatrix Busse and Ruth Moehlig-Falke. Topics in English Linguistics [TiEL] 104. De Gruyter Moution, 2019. 69-96. 
    • Ian Lancashire and Elisa Tersigni, "Shakespeare's Hard Words, and our Hard Senses," Shakespeare's Language in Digital Media: Old Words, New Tools, ed. Janelle Jenstad, Mark Kaethler, and Jennifer Roberts Smith. London and New York: Routledge, 2018. 26-46. This collection has essays by three former students of mine, Daniel Aureliano Newman, Elizabeth Bernath, and Michael Ullyot. I was Jennifer Roberts Smith's Ph.D. supervisor and thank her for shepherding this book, which had its seed in my graduate course on Shakespeare's language some time ago, to this splendid conclusion. Jennifer worked at LEME in the team that prepared its first version (2006) and she was a student in the 1995-96 graduate course on Shakespeare's Language that used a tool that become the online EMEDD. 
    • Shakespeare in the Marketplace of Words. Jonathan P. Lamb. Reviewed by Ian Lancashire, Modern Philology 116-2 (2018): E89-E94.
  • Corpus:
    • We have mainly handled encoding issues arising from the great variety of lexical texts, but several matters related to grasping the corpus as a whole need attention. These include lemmatization (which is advancing well) and documentation (also proceeding on all fronts).  The corpus will be released as a whole with a book that offers a scholarly basis for understanding it and the kind of research it enables. Our estimated deadline for both is early 2022. 
    • Meanwhile, I understand that time and tides wait for no one. Should you really need a text, write me. Only one person has so far done so, a graduate student in the U.K., because she needed Samuel Johnson's Dictionary (1755) to undertake her thesis. The LEME Advanced Search tool actually did the trick. 
    • On a personal note: until the corpus and the book are done, I cannot give papers at conferences (my apologies for being a no-show at several recently) or undertake any additional research assignments. 


  • LEME Availability: as of October 11, 2018, the second edition of the LEME database has been launched. All searches and data are now open to free use and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Plain texts will be released, text by text, over the rest of the year. 
  • Downloading Texts: plain-text versions of the following texts are available for download.
    • Wynkyn de Worde's English and French (1497). 
    • William Caxton's English and French (ca. 1480).
    • John Palsgrave's Lesclarcissement (1530).
    • L[ucas]. H[arrison].'s A Dictionary of French and English (1571).
    • John Baret's An Alveary or Triple Dictionary (1574).
    • Randle Cotgrave's Dictionary of French and English Tongues (1611).
    • José Acosta's Natural and Moral History of the East and West Indies (1604). 
    • William Ames' The Morrow of Sacred Divinity (1642).
    • Guy Miège's A New Dictionary French and English (1677).
  • New LEME Software.
    • Staged release of LEME texts encoded in XML, both LEME and TEI (beginning 2019).
    • A team at the Robarts Library in ITS, led by Rachel Di Cresce, has now finished our second edition of the LEME database, using PHP. Meanwhile, we have developed two XML schemas: one reflecting LEME encoding, and the other strict TEI. All but one glossary and dictionary texts have been analyzed (proofread and re-encoded) and converted into these LEME and TEI XML encodings with an eye to releasing all texts freely online.
  • LEME Staff in 2018: Isabelle Zhu, Xueqi Fan, Lisa Marando, Cassandra Olsen, Tim Alberdingk Thijm, Rachael Tu, Kristen Zimmer, Julia DaSilva.
  • LEME now has 250 lexical works with a total of  1,003,582 word-entries.
  • Recently added to LEME :

       All unanalyzed texts have been analyzed. They include 

  1. Revised version of John Baret's An Alveary or Triple Dictionary, in English, Latin, and French (1574; 5,703 forms, 27,135 subforms). Entered originally by Nancy Prior and Susan Quirk, and revised by Ian Lancashire and Kristen Zimmer.
  2. William Stepney's The Spanish School-master (1591; 1,817 forms). Entered originally by Shannon Robinson, and revised by Ian Lancashire and Kristen Zimmer.
  3. John Woodall's The Surgions Mate (1617; 178 word-entries). Entered by Ian Lancashire, revised by Julia DaSilva.
  4. John Palsgrave's Lesclarcissement (1530).

        New Texts, including

  1. A New Universal Etymological English Dictionary (1755) by Joseph Nicol Scott on the basis of Nathan Bailey's popular dictionary. Ca. 72,000 word-entries.
  2. Fitzherbert's books on husbandry (1523) and surveying (1530).
  3. Sir Thomas Elyot's Bibliotheca (1542).
  4. John Maplet's Green Forest (1567)
  5. William Patten's Calendar of Scripture (1575).
  6. Thomas Cooper's Thesaurus (1578).
  7. John Bullokar's English Expositor (1621, 1641) 
  8. John Smith's A Sea Grammar (1627).
  9. Spelman's Villare Anglicum (1656).
  10. The English Parnassus (1657).
  11. Meriton's  The Praise of Yorkshire Ale (1685).
  12. A New Universal Etymological English Dictionary (1755) by Joseph Nicol Scott. Ca. 72,000 word-entries.

Coming to LEME : Texts.

  • Sex Linguarum (1537)
  • John Minsheu's Ductor in Linguas (1617)
  • Samuel Clarke's English Dictionary (1670)
  • John Rastell's Les Termes de la Ley (1685)


  • Announcement by University of Toronto Press (January 31, 2017):
  • Lexicons of Early Modern English now open access!
  • Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME) is the robust research tool valued greatly by lexical historians and researchers around the world.
  • LEME has been setting the standard for modern linguistic research on the English language since 1990 by providing researchers unprecedented access to early books and manuscripts documenting the growth and development of the English language. LEME is ever expanding and currently includes more than 808, 963 word-entries from 213 monolingual, bilingual, and polyglot dictionaries, lexical encyclopedias, hard-word glossaries, spelling lists, and lexically-valuable treatises surviving in print or manuscript from the Tudor, Stuart, Caroline, Commonwealth, and Restoration periods.
  • To this date, LEME has been available in two versions – an open access version that allows for simple searches on the multilingual lexical database and a subscription based version, that provides a robust and full-featured scholarly resource for advanced research into the entire lexical content of Early Modern English.
  • In an effort to make this valuable research tool available to all researchers, everywhere, the LEME Project team, University of Toronto Press and the University of Toronto Libraries are pleased to announce that as of January 30, 2017, Lexicons of Early Modern English, and all of its functionality, will be full open access.
  • For more information and to access the full version of Lexicons of Early Modern English (open access as of January 30, 2017) at
  • LEME Staff in 2017: Isabelle Zhu, Chrys Bands (-March), Mandy Pipher (July-August), Dr Marc Plamondon, Leah Stephens (June-July), Tim Alberdingk Thijm (June-), Kristen Zimmer (June-), Julia DaSilva (September-).
  • Research Funding: I am very pleased to announce that my SSHRC grant application, "Opening Up Lexicons of Early Modern English," was successful (April 2017). This will enable us to enhance LEME and deliver its TEI-encoded texts within a few years as a lexical corpus to researchers for use with their own software. My heartfelt thanks go out to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and its accessors for their support of EMEDD-LEME over three decades, and for their confidence in its general editor.
  • Recently added to LEME :
    1. James Lightbody's The Mariner's Jewel (1695). Analyzed and encoded by Julia DaSilva.
    2. John Stanbridge's Vulgaria (1509). 369 word-entries. Analyzed by Mandy Pipher and Ian Lancashire.
    3. William Salesbury's Welsh-English dictionary (1547). Analyzed by Isabelle Zhu.
    4. Richard Sherrey's A Treatise of the Figures of Grammer and Rhetorike (1755), Edited EEBO/TCP transcription by Ian Lancashire. Sherrey's earlier treatise on schemes and tropes (1550) has been analyzed.
    5. Glossary in John Hall's Chirurgia parua Lanfranci (1565). Analyzed by Ian Lancashire and Leah Stephens.
    6. A French-English dictionary by Lucas Harrison (1571). Edited EEBO/TCP transcription by Kristen Zimmer.
    7. John Awdely's The Fraternity of Vagabonds (1575), John Caius' Of English Dogs (1576), William Fulbecke's Study of the Law (1600), and John Tanner's Hidden Treasures of the Art of Physic (1659). Added by Ian Lancashire.
    8. William Turner's Libellus de Re Herbaria Novus (1538). Transcription by Leah Stephens.
    9. Laurence Nowell's Legal Glossary (ca. 1565-67): 152 word-entries. Transcription courtesy of Rebecca Brackmann (English, Lincoln Memorial University).
    10. Laurence Nowell's glosses (ca. 1565-70) on a copy of Richard Hoelet's Abcedarium (1552): 4,589 word-entries. Transcription courtesy of Rebecca Brackmann (English, Lincoln Memorial University).
    11. John Florio's Queen Anna's New World of Words (1611): 70,908 word-entries. Gift of Perseus Project, proofread by Shannon Robinson. Newly analyzed by Ian Lancashire.
    12. Henry Hexham's A Copious English and Netherdutch Dictionary (1647): 32,997 word-entries. Realized by Dr. Lyda Fens-de Zeeuw, Ruth Peidi Zhao, and Chrys Bands.
    13. Bishop Wilkins' Alphabetical Dictionary (1668): 11,393 word-entries. Newly analyzed by Ian Lancashire.
    14. Various smaller texts analyzed: Higden 1480; de Worde 1497; Turner 1548; the legal glossaries in British Library Lansdowne MS 171, nos. 173 and 178, 1558-1603; the Geneva Bible 1560; Googe 1561; Levins 1570; Rastell 1579; Lucar 1590; Marston 1598; Bullokar 1616; Cockeram 1623; Moxon 1679).
  • LEME now has 225 lexical works with a total of 859,675 word-entries, 748,056 of which are analyzed (August 27).
  • Known Errors:
    1. To obtain post-1737 results in searches, set the terminal date to 1755. The current default, 1800, prevents the delivery of word-entries, for example, from Samuel Johnson's dictionary (May 2017).
  • Coming to LEME : Texts.
    1. A New Universal Etymological English Dictionary (1755) by Joseph Nicol Scott, on the basis of Nathan Bailey's popular dictionary.
    2. A fresh transcription of Catholicon Anglicum from British Library Add. MS 89,074.
    3. Analyzed versions of searchable but so-far unanalyzed texts.
  • Coming to LEME : Software.
    1. A new web interface for LEME in PHP developed by the University of Toronto Library (probably late 2018).
    2. Development of all LEME texts into a corpus encoded in TEI and available in open source.


  • Editors: Rebecca Shapiro (English, CUNY), Executive Secretary of the Dictionaries Society of North America, has joined LEME as Associate Editor with a special interest, shared with Carol Percy, in women lexicographers and the long 18th century.
  • LEME Advisory Board: Paul Frederick Schaffner, E-text and EEBO/TCP production manager, Digital Library Platform and Services, University of Michigan Library, has joined the Board. He has special responsibility for managing the online Middle English Dictionary and the production of TCP (Text Creation Partnership) texts.
  • LEME staff in 2016: Isabelle Zhu, Chrys Bands, and Sharine Leung.
  • Recently added to LEME :
    1. Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language (1755). 42,726 word-entries. Apex/Coventure entered the text in TEI/Tite, and Isabelle Zhu converted it to LEME encoding and processed the entire text. To search Johnson's quotations alone, select all words in language "quo". Note that quotations generally date earlier than 1755.
    2. Nathan Bailey's An Introduction to the English Tongue (1726). 9,747 word-entries.
    3. John Collier's A View of the Lancashire Dialect (1746). 1,655 word-entries.
    4. Mary Johnson's Madam Johnson's Present (1755). A spelling dictionary for younger women. (1755). 5,492 word-entries.
    5. Elisha Coles' The Compleat English Schoolmaster or the Most Natural and Easie Method of Spelling English (1674). 9,862 word-entries.
    6. Benjamin N. Defoe's A New English Dictionary (1735). 16,281 word-entries.
  • LEME now has 808,963 word-entries (December 12).
  • Coming to LEME:
    1. Henry Hexham, A Copious English and Netherdutch Dictionary (1647): 33,000 word-entries.


  • Renewal of LEME Agreement: The University of Toronto Press, the University of Toronto Library, and the Editor have signed a new contractual agreement to publish, host, and edit LEME.
  • Processing Error: October 20, 2015. It is now possible to search 18th-century texts, but note that the term-distribution graph at the top of results misdates the occurrence. This problem is being addressed now.
  • Processing Error: July 30, 2015. We became aware of a bug in LEME's indexing of 18th-century texts, just before a three-day national holiday. We apologize for any inconvenience. This bug will be addressed as soon as possible. The 18th-century texts can still be browsed.
  • LEME Advisory Board:
  • Peter Gilliver (Associate Editor, the Oxford English Dictionary) has joined the LEME Advisory Board.
  • Chad Gaffield (University Research Chair in Digital Scholarship, University of Ottawa) has joined the LEME Advisory Board.
  • Anne Curzan (Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English, University of Michigan) has joined the LEME Advisory Board.
  • LEME staff in 2015: Alexandra Brennan, Isabelle Zhu, Sharine Leung, Elisa Tersigni, Ruth Peidi Zhao.
  • Recently added to LEME:Analyzed text of the glossary in Richard Recorde's Vrinal (1547).
    1. Analyzed text of Peter Levins' Manipulus Vocabulorum (1570).
    2. Analyzed text of William Thomas, Principal Rules (1550).
    3. Gazophylacium Anglorum (1689). Compiled by Ian Lancashire and Alexandra Brennan. An etymological dictionary based on Stephen Skinner's Etymologicon Linguae Anglicanae (1671).
    4. Nathan Bailey, Universal Etymological English Dictionary (1737). Compiled by Ian Lancashire and Ruth Reidi Zhao. A transcription of any Bailey dictionary has not appeared online before.
    5. White Kennett, Parochial Antiquities (1695). Compiled by Isabelle Zhu. An important etymological text. A transcription of Parochial Antiquities has not appeared online before.
    6. Ortus Vocabulorum (1500). Its addition -- input by Ruth Peidi Zhao -- completes LEME's representative texts for the four major late-fifteenth-century dictionaries of Latin and English that survive in manuscript or print in England. There are 39,135 expansions of abbreviations, and 6,856 emendations, in Ortus, for many of which we acknowledge the University of London Ph.D. thesis by Alan George Cannon (1971), a Canadian from Dalhousie University. A transcription of Ortus has not been available online before.
  • LEME now has 722,616 word-entries (July 6).
  • Coming Soon to LEME:
    1. Benjamin Defoe, A New English Dictionary (1735)
    2. Henry Hexham, A Copious English and Netherdutch Dictionary (1647): 33,000 word-entries.


  • Professor Carol Percy (Toronto) has joined LEME as Associate Editor, 18th century.
  • LEME staff in 2014: Alexandra Brennan, Candace Chapple, Isabelle Zhu, Sharine Leung, Pen Long, Michael Raby, Elisa Tersigni, Ruth Peidi Zhao.
  • Recently added to LEME.
    Neither Rider nor Thorie has been transcribed before.
    1. Stephen Batman, "A note of Saxon wordes" (1581)
    2. Edmund Bohun, Geographical Dictionary (1693): 11,681 word-entries
    3. Richard Boothby, A Brief Discovery or Description of the Most Famous Island of Madagascar (1646)
    4. William Camden, Remaines (1605)
    5. Thomas Dekker, O per se O (1612)
    6. John Heydon, "A Chymical Dictionary" (English; 1662): 70 word-entries.
    7. Gregory Martin, The New Testament of the English College of Rheims (1582)
    8. Gerhard Mercator, Historia Mundi Or Mercator's Atlas (1635)
    9. Guy Miège, A New Dictionary French and English, with another English and French (1677): 18,376 word-entries, 73,641 sub-entries
    10. John Ogilby, Asia, the First Part (1673)
    11. John Rider’s Bibliotheca Scholastica (English-Latin, 1589): 42,000 word-entries and sub-entries.
    12. Richard Rowlands' A Restitution of Decayed Intelligence in Antiquities (1605; Richard Verstegan; text replaced by an extended and analyzed version)
    13. Nicholas Stone, Enchiridion of Fortification (1645)
    14. John Thorie, The Theatre of the Earth (1601; place-names): 3,100 word-entries.
    15. John Turner, A Book of Wines (1568)
  • The addition of Rider’s Bibliotheca Scholastica completes LEME’s series of major English bilingual dictionaries and monolingual glossaries (Thomasius, Rider, Hollyband, Florio, Minsheu, Cawdrey, Cotgrave) published during Shakespeare’s career. Thorie’s Theatre and Bohun's Geographical Dictionary (1693) continue LEME’s series of proper- and place-name dictionaries (Rowlands and Dodderidge). Miège's A New Dictionary (1677) adds a sixth text to LEME's collection: Caxton (ca. 1480), Palsgrave (1530), Baret (1574), Hollyband (1593), and Cotgrave (1611). LEME now has 664,000 word-entries (May 21).
  • The Corpus Resource Database (CoRD), created by the Research Unit for Variation, Contacts, and Change in English (VARIENG) at the University of Helsinki, now includes LEME . The Director of VARIENG is Terttu Nevalainen, and the Deputy Director is Irma Taavitsainen. My thanks to Emanuela Costea at VARIENG for her assistance in developing the LEME entry.
  • Coming Soon to LEME.

    1. Ortus Vocabulorum (Latin-English, 1500): 25,500 word-entries.
    2. Henry Hexham, A Copious English and Netherdutch Dictionary (1647): 33,000 word-entries.
  • How to Pronounce LEME
    1. Most people rhyme it with "beam," but the Editor likes to rhyme it with "hem" or the first syllable of "lemma." Of course, you can take your pick.
  • The addition of Ortus Vocabulorum will complete LEME’s series of the four large Latin and English dictionaries in manuscript and print at the end of the fifteenth century ( Promptorium Parvulorum, Catholicon Anglicum, Medulla Grammatice in Pepys MS 2002, and Ortus). Hexham’s will be LEME’s first bilingual Dutch and English dictionary. Neither it nor Ortus has been transcribed before.


  • LEME staff in 2013: Candace Chapple, Janet Damianopoulos, Pen Long, Taylor Najjar, Michael Raby, Elisa Tersigni, Ruth Peidi Zhao.
  • Recently added to LEME:
    1. Anonymous, The Great Herbal (1526)
    2. Richard Benese, The Manner of Measuring (1537)
    3. Rembert Dodoens, A New Herbal or History of Plants (1578)
    4. Edward Hatton, The Merchant's Magazine Dictionary of Merchandise and Trade (1699)
    5. Claude Hollyband, A Dictionarie French and English (1593)
    6. Peter Levins, Manipulus Vocabulorum (London, 1570; 8,940 English-Latin word-entries): analyzed text.
    7. Floridus Macer, A Newe Herball of Macer (1543)
    8. George Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy (1589)
  • Coming to LEME:
    1. Henry Hexham, A Copious English and Netherdutch Dictionary (167)
    2. Joshua Poole, English Parnassus (1657)
    3. Richard Head, The English Rogue (1665)
    4. Sir Thomas Blount, Nomo-Lexikon(1670)
  • Publications
    1. Ian Lancashire. LEME Publishers Exhibit. 41st Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America. Toronto, Ontario, 28-30 March.
    2. --, "Why Lexicons of Early Modern English?" 19th Biennial Meeting of the Dictionary Society of North America. University of Georgia, Athens. May 24.
    3. -- and Ruth Peidi Zhao, "Using EEBO/TCP Texts for Lexicons of Early Modern English," Text Creation Partnership , June 5.
    4. -- and Elisa Tersigni, "Early Modern English Vocabulary Growth." July. Corpus Linguistics 2013. Ed. A. Hardie and R. Love. Lancaster University: UCREL. 156-59.


  • Recently Added to LEME:
    1. Stephen Blankaart, A Physical Dictionary (1689)
    2. Robert Cawdrey, A Table Alphabetical, Containing and Teaching the Understanding of Hard Usual English Words (1617)
    3. Jean de La Quintinie, The Complete Gardener, trans. John Evelyn (1693)
    4. William Lucas, A Catalogue of Seeds (1677)
    5. James Moxon, Mathematical Dictionary (1679)
  • Publications
    1. Ashgate Critical Essays on Early English Lexicographers. Ian Lancashire, gen. ed. 5 vols. C. Franzen (vols. 1-2, Old and Middle English), R. McConchie (vol. 3, Sixteenth Century), J. Considine (vol. 4, Seventeenth Century), A. McDermott (vol. 5, Eighteenth Century). Ashgate.
    2. “William Cecil and the Rectification of English.” The Languages of Nation: Attitudes and Norms. Ed. C. Percy and M.C. Davidson. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 39-62.
    3. "Lexicon and Semantics." Historical Linguistics of English: An International Handbook. Ed. A. Bergs and L. Brinton. Mouton de Gruyter. 637-51.
    4. SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), " Case Study: Lexicons of Early Modern English, University of Toronto"


  • Newly added to LEME:
    1. The Academy of Pleasure (1656)
    2. Catholicon Anglicum (ca. 1475)
    3. The Fromand List of Garden Plants (ca. 1525)
    4. John Florio, Florio his First Fruits (1578)
    5. Niels Hemmingsen, A Postle, or Exposition of the Gospels (1569), trans. Arthur Golding
    6. The Horse the Ghoos and the Sheep (1477)
    7. William Lucas, A Catalogue of Seeds (1677)
  • Publications
    1. "The Flores of Ouide (1513): An Early Tudor Latin-English Textbook.” Words in Dictionaries and History. Eds. O. Timofeeva and T. Säily. Benjamins. 3-16.
    2. “Early Modern English in its Time.” Celebration of Early Modern Studies at University of Toronto, Alumni Hall, Victoria College, March 4.
    3. Vancil, David. “Seven North American Dictionary Collections,” Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America 32: 111-28.


  • Newly added to LEME:
    1. Peter Levins, Manipulus Vocabulorum (1570; analyzed text)
    2. John Ray’s A Collection of English Words not Generally Used (London, 1674): 2,128 word-entries for dialectal words, southern and northern, words for fishes and birds, and terms of art in mining.
    3. Walter, The Flores of Ovid's De Arte Amand (1513)
  • Publications
    1. “Why did Tudor England have no Monolingual English Dictionary?” Webs of Words: New Studies in Historical Lexicography . Ed. J. Considine. Cambridge Scholars. 8-23.
    2. Hardy Cook, "I have been a user of LEME since it was the EMEDD and a subscriber every year since it has been a subscription service. The LEME extends the capacities of the OED and is just down right fun to use and to explore Early Modern Language with." (December 31, 2010).


  • Recently Added to LEME:
    1. Timothy Bright's Charactery (1588)
    2. Richard Huloet's Abecedarium Anglico Latinum (1552; 25,696 word entries)
    3. B.E., A New Dictionary of the Terms Ancient and Modern of the Canting Crew (1699)
    4. Antonio del Corro's The Spanish Grammar (1590) and William Stepney's The Spanish School-master (1591) were analyzed.
  • Publications
    1. "Encoding Renaissance Electronic Texts." New Technologies and Renaissance Studies. Ed. W. Bowen and R. Siemens. Iter and the Arizona CMRS. 243-60.


  • Recently added to LEME:
    1. Medulla Grammatice (Pepys MS 2002; ca. 1480)
    2. John Stanbridge, Vocabula magistri stanbrig (1510): 2,887 word-entries
    3. William Tyndale, The New Testament (1534)
    4. James Wallace's A Description of the Isles of Orkney (1693)
  • Publications
    1. Lancashire, Ian. "The Theory and Practice of Lexicons of Early Modern English." In Bringing Text Alive: The Future of Scholarship, Pedagogy, and Electronic Publication, ed. Shawn Martin. Early Modern Literary Studies14.2 (Sept.)
    2. --. "The Expansion of Early Modern English Vocabulary." Fourth International Conference on Historical Lexicography and Lexicology, Edmonton, AB. June 19-21.


  • Newly added to LEME:
    1. Promptorium Parvulorum (1499)
  • Publications
    1. Lancashire, Ian. "The Two Tongues of Early Modern English." Managing Chaos. Ed. Christopher Cain. Studies in the History of English III. Mouton de Gruyter. 115-53.
    2. --."Lexical Profiling in Lexicons of Early Modern English," International Association of University professors of English, Lund, Sweden, August 9.


  • Publications
    1. Lancashire, Ian. "Law and Early Modern English Lexicons." HEL-LEX: New Approaches in English Historical Lexis. Ed. R. McConchie, H. Tissari and O. Timofeeva. Cascadilla Press.
    2. --.“Computing the Lexicons of Early Modern English." The Changing Face of Corpus Linguistics. Ed. Antoinette Renouf. In `Language and Computers: Studies in Practical Linguistics' series, gen. ed. Nelleke Oostdijk and Charles Meyer. Rodopi.
    3. --. "Online Historical Lexical-encyclopedic Entries and Semantic Indexing." Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science. Nov. 6.
    4. Lexicons of Early Modern English was launched on April 12, and celebrated at a reception held on September 19, and hosted by the University of Toronto Press and the University of Toronto Libraries at the Fisher Rare Book Library.
  • Newly added to LEME:
    1. Entries for about 150 lexical works were added to the bibliographical index.

Last updated: 06 Dec 2021