Etymology in the <i>English Dialect Dictionary</i>
This article discusses the treatment of etymology in Joseph Wright’s <i>English Dialect Dictionary (EDD)</i> (1898–1905), a topic about which the literature has offered virtually no information. The focus is, first, on the presentation and characteristics of etymological comments in the <i>EDD</i>, followed by questions of their reliability and usefulness, drawing in large part on comparisons with other sources, especially the <i>Oxford English Dictionary (OED)</i>. Comparative analysis has shown a high degree of agreement, with limitations pertaining less to the information included in the <i>EDD</i> than to information not included. That is, <i>EDD</i> etymologies are often sparse and, more important, seldom reflect uncertainties. In sum, the investigation suggests that the <i>EDD</i> provides valuable impulses for the study of etymology in Late Modern English (LModE) dialect lexis, offering the potential to expand our understanding of the area enormously.