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Encyclopedia

Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME) is a historical database of 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. Texts of word-entries whose headword (source) or explanation (target) language is English tell us what speakers of English thought about their tongue in the period served by the Short-title and Wing catalogues, from the advent of printing to about 1700. Their lexical insights, which may at times seem misguided to us, shaped the history of our living tongue. Any contemporary's testimony about the meaning of his own words has an undeniable authority.

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