Polyglot’s Lexicon – An Introduction

When we were in the Czech Republic in 2006, my husband and I found Polyglot’s Lexicon (1943-1966) by Kenneth Versand at an English language bookstore.  The Lexicon lists new words & meanings added to the English language each year, as determined by a committee at the G & C Merriam Corporation.  From the Table of Contents:  “New objects and ideas become new words, new meanings, extended meanings of old words, or combinations of old words.”  These words are also categorized by type (war, sports, politics, etc.) and by grammar (noun, verb) and graphed.  Unable to fit it in my luggage coming home, I left it in safekeeping.  I retrieved it when I was back in the Czech Rep. recently and have fallen in love with it all over again.  It’s a great snapshot of the changing times, from the A-Bomb (1945)  to LSD (1966).

I’ll be posting interesting definitions from the Lexicon here periodically.  So far, I have been unable to find out much about it, or author Kenneth Versand, online.  This volume seems to have been the only one published – there’s no Lexicon for the years after 1966 or from before 1943.

 

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