Scottish dictionary by Boswell surfaces

May 1, 2011 at 2:21 AM   |   Comments

OXFORD, England, May 1 (UPI) -- A handwritten dictionary of Scottish words and phrases compiled by James Boswell, the biographer of Dr. Samuel Johnson, has turned up at Oxford University.

The Bodleian Library apparently acquired the manuscript in 1927 when it bought the papers of John Jamieson, a Scottish lexicographer who worked in the 19th century, but did not realize what it had, The Scotsman reported Sunday. Susan Rennie, a Scottish language expert, found it while researching a biography of Jamieson.

Experts have confirmed the manuscript was written by Boswell.

Boswell apparently planned to do his own Scottish dictionary modeled on his friend Johnson's English dictionary.

"He advised me to complete a dictionary of words peculiar to Scotland, of which I showed him a specimen," Boswell wrote.

Johnson, who traveled with Boswell to the Hebrides, sometimes teased the Edinburgh-born lawyer about being Scottish. Boswell was both self-conscious about his heritage and proud of it.

"The Scottish language is being lost every day, and in a short time will become quite unintelligible," Boswell wrote in an account of a trip to the Netherlands. "To me, who have the true patriotic soul of an old Scotsman, that would seem a pity."

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Florida pageant mom fed daughter tapeworms to make her lose weight
South Carolina woman allegedly beats 64-year-old man for farting in her face
Nearly 400 Starbucks customers in a row pay for next car's drink at Florida drive-through
Over $10,000 in marijuana seized from Virginia man named Stoner
Gallery: Makeup artist uses her chin as canvas for perfect cartoon renderings
Trending News