Old skool

round-retro-glasses-icon_23-2147486653Do you know what a ‘nose compass’ is? Or ‘lunettes’? They are historical terms for spectacles. The word spectacle itself is has been in circulation since 1386. Cool huh? Handy info especially if you are writing something historical, or with historical elements.

The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary is now available online, it has alternative terms for loads of words (well a dictionary-worth) and the period it was used in, if it was colloquial or not. Quite a cool resource for writers!

You can find it here: Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary – you’re welcome!

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2 responses to “Old skool

  1. That’s cool.

    I’m not mostly into historical fiction, but I do really like Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon, which is written in a sort of version of how people spoke and wrote in the 1600s. I’m not sure how accurate it is, but that really doesn’t matter since the book isn’t strictly historical anyway — I don’t think the real Mason and Dixon encountered an amorous mechanical duck, for example.

    My stuff is sort of historical, but within my own lifetime, so I just have to use my memory. Slang changes a lot, though, and these days pretty quickly, so I have to watch out. I have a teenage character who would be saying “what-Ev-er” all the time, if I let her. πŸ™‚

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    • I haven’t written any historical stuff myself either, but you just never know when these things may come in handy! Having said that, I do have an idea of a story initially set in the early 1900s…
      Also I am always on the lookout for sources of procrastination and I can lose some serious time in sites like these πŸ™‚

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