The paper traces the growth of the lexical field of ‘Contempt’ as represented by the computer-readable file ‘Contempt.txt’ which, together with ‘Disrepute.txt,’ formed the basis for Section ‘02.01.18 Contempt’ of the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (2 vols.) published in 2009. Contempt.txt was received in October 2001 from the Thesaurus team. The author put it in tabular form and wrote a computer program to count the number of words attested for any chosen year and any field or sub-field distinguished by the HTE. Though in many ways superseded by the print version, Contempt.txt is still indispensable for the purposes of this paper.