About Forgotten English

Forgotten English is found in the early dictionaries of Samuel Johnson and Nathaniel Bailey in England, John Jamieson in Scotland, and Noah Webster in America. Later, in the early 1800s, many amateur word sleuths–often British church leaders–continued discovering, appreciating, and recording the dialect words and expressions they heard in their local and often isolated parishes and towns. Many of these handwritten manuscripts survived and were published, sometimes long after the collector had died. Many of the dialect words found here came from these amateurs.

About the Author

Born and raised in San Diego, I enjoyed attending the nearby Old Globe Theater, where I developed a fascination with the dialog, mannerisms, and general antiquity of Shakespeare’s plays, early English novels, and poetry. In college I became intrigued with European and American social history, especially the dialects, folklore, oddities, and customs of these regions. Standing on the shoulders of giants, I have tried to include these longtime interests wherever possible in my books and calendars. Had Shakespeare been around to see the interest his homemade expressions have created since the 19th century, he might well have remarked, as he did in Love’s Labor’s Lost, that these latter-day wordsmiths “hath been at a great feast of languages and stolen the scraps.”

I was fortunate to live in a number of linguistically distinct places, including New Orleans, London, Paris, New York, Milwaukee, and Portland, Oregon, and have visited most areas of America, Northern Europe, and Canada. When I travel—whether abroad or in my own back yard, the San Francisco Bay Area—I still find that listening to the way people speak and the local expressions they use is a favorite experience.  I hope my writings about English will help make it more fun and interesting to listen, wherever you are.