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Lexical Leavings

by Tom Gally

Today, at a used book sale near my home, I picked up, for a thousand yen, a large English-Japanese dictionary published in 1888. The Japanese title is }pab. and the English title is An English and Japanese Dictionary, Explanatory, Pronouncing, and Etymological, Containing All English Words in Present Use, with an Appendix. The lead authors are M. Shibata (ēcg) and T. Koyasu (qs).

The leather cover is disintegrating and some of the final pages are worm-eaten, but otherwise the book is in good condition. In 1888, there still seemed to be hesitation about writing Japanese horizontally, for the Japanese definitions are all turned ninety degrees.

Click on the thumbnails below for larger images. (The color variation is an artifact of the lighting and the digital camera.)

(November 29, 2003)