Bernadette Hince

Bernadette Hince is a dictionary-maker and historian. She is the author of The Antarctic Dictionary: A Complete Guide to Antarctic English (2000).

Daggers and devouresses

November 2013, no. 356 31 October 2013
Daggers and devouresses
Nothing ever gets taken out of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) – at least, that’s what I believed until I read this book. Words which are no longer used simply stay where they are, complete with their quotations, and the addition of a small dagger symbol (†) to signify their obsolescence: for example, †devouress (defined in 1895 as ‘a female devourer’), whose earliest known use was ... (read more)