Anecdote: Samuel Johnson's dictionary and naughty words: Have you been looking for them?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Sep 22 22:59:17 UTC 2013

I'm reminded of the allegation about Noah Webster, whose dictionary
was in some particulars more correct than Johnson's,* that he said
"No, madam.  I'm surprised; you are astonished."

* Webster correctly described the Arabian and the Bactrian camels.


At 9/22/2013 06:37 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
>The Quote Investigator website now has an article about the topic
>mentioned in the subject line of this message. Below is the first
>[ref] 1785 April, The Gentleman's Magazine, "Dr. Johnson at Oxford,
>and Lichfield", Start Page 288, Quote Page 288, Column 2, Printed by
>John Nichols for D. Henry, London. (Google Books full view) link
>[Begin excerpt]
>A literary lady expressing to Dr. J. her approbation of his Dictionary
>and, in particular, her satisfaction at his not having admitted into
>it any improper words; "No, Madam," replied he, "I hope I have not
>daubed my fingers. I find, however that you have been looking for
>[End excerpt]
>Feedback welcome,
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list