Webster knows words. It has the best words. 470,000 words to be exact. If you’ve ever wondered how one of the most famous dictionaries came about, today’s your lucky day. Here’s the story, of a man named Noah Webster, the “Father of the American Dictionary,” whose birthday just happens to be today.
1806 | The year in which American Noah Webster published his first dictionary, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language. What a wonderful thing to create.
1807 | The year in which Webster began compiling an expanded and fully comprehensive dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language. It probably had words like
Of course, this labor of love was a marathon, not a sprint.
That’s why it took 27 years to complete. We’d say that’s pretty tenacious.
By the time he was done, he may even have been a grandpa.
A really smart grandpa. He learned 26 languages in order to properly evaluate the etymology of words (including Old English, German, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Arabic and Sanskrit). Wow. That is awesome.
When completed, his dictionary had 70,000 words. That’s a lot of words. These words were probably not in it.
Cheers to you, Noah Webster. And now, for the last word.