Anglo-Indian slang in dictionaries on historical principles

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This article deals with the lexicography of Anglo-Indian English; specifically it examines both past and contemporary work in the style of dictionary known as the ‘dictionary on historical principles’. This type of dictionary is commonly viewed as the pinnacle of the western lexicographical tradition and for world Englishes scholars wishing to find out detailed information about a particular lexical item in a certain variety of English, a dictionary on historical principles is by far the best type of dictionary to use, provided one exists that covers the variety in question. The goal of the present study was to gauge the need for greater lexicographical research into Anglo-Indian English by conducting a focused lexicographical study and comparing the results against both Hobson-Jobson and the OED. The results, now published as dictionary entries in the online version of Green's Dictionary of Slang, add greatly to our knowledge of Anglo-Indian English and reveal a need for continued dictionary work to improve upon the coverage provided by previous lexicography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-260
Number of pages13
JournalWorld Englishes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


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