Words Change Their Meaning over Time by Diana Flegal

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Words Change Their Meaning over Time by Diana Flegal


I am the proud owner of a 1909 Webster’s Dictionary.



It rests on a 100+ year old pulpit my father received from the Brethren Church my family attended while I was growing up. My Dad used the pulpit for years when he pastored a small Baptist Church, and then it came to me when he downsized after my mother passed on.

When my son was growing up, we often turned to this dictionary when he came across a word he did not understand while reading.




Mr. Webster was a Christian, and in these older volumes, the definitions have biblical origins.



It is fun to reference this book, as many words have changed their definitions through the years, and some are now considered obsolete.


Here are just a few examples:


1909 Webster Dictionary: cool

Lacking in warmth—not retaining or admitting heat—indifferent

Urban Dictionary: cool

The best way to say something is neat-o, awesome, or swell. The phrase “cool” is very relaxed, never goes out of style, and people will never laugh at you for using it.     http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cool

1909 Webster Dictionary: hacked

Beaten into cowardice

Urban Dictionary: hacked

Being in the state of victimized by a hacker who has either installed a program into your computer or has gotten into an account of yours with programs or just good skillz.

1909 Webster Dictionary: bully


Dictionary.com: bully http://www.dictionary.com/browse/bully?s=t

a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.

1909 Webster Dictionary: keen


Dictionary.com: keen


Next time you are out and about, you might want to look for an old Webster’s dictionary. A good dictionary is a vital writer’s tool. While it is easy to find a definition or a synonym by ‘googleing’ it, inspiration for a writer can often be found when they peruse a hard copy dictionary.










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