Welcome to the digital edition of the Bosworth-Toller Anglo-Saxon Dictionary

This is an online edition of An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, or a dictionary of "Old English". The dictionary records the state of the English language as it was used between ca. 700-1100 AD by the Anglo-Saxon inhabitans of the British Isles. More information about this project can be found in the About section.

1 January 2020

In 2020 we bring you a public beta of the New BT!


We will be very grateful for any comments/suggestions (via FB or email). The current plan is to keep collecting feedback and work on the new version for several months and only switch to the new version once we are sure no features are missing and most of the bugs have been resolved.
Here are some of the most important new features already in the beta:
  • new layout that looks better and works well on mobile devices
  • new underlying technology that allows us to keep re-tagging and improving the underlying data. Check e.g. http://bosworth.silent3.ff.cuni.cz/834 and notice that in the manulaly re-tagged entries we now distinguish individual variants in the grammar section, equivalents in the definition, citation forms in quotations, full forms in derived forms etc. All this will improve the readability, make search more effective and also allow us to use the data in new exciting ways.
  • search and especially advanced search have been completely overhauled and will be hopefully both more user friendly and more powerful at the same time (both still need some work)

11 November 2013

Sorry for the recent outages!

Once the new server got under the pressure of spam bots, the caching module malfunctioned. All should be well now and we will continue to work on other caching solutions to speed the things up. If you experience slow response times or downtime, please let us know. Early feedback means early resolution.

6 November 2013

Major data & software update and server upgrade:

  • The dictionary was moved to a new and faster server.
    • It may take a few days for the cache to build up.
    • If you experience any lag, please let us know.
  • The data were structurally re-tagged.
    • Previously, the entries were tagged only to preserve the typography of the printed original. Now the tagging reflects the structure of the entries.
    • It should be much easier to read the entries.
    • The abbreviation of the references are linked to their explanations and will be linked to the source texts, if these are available.
    • This was done semi-automatically, so there is bound to be a lot of errors. Please let us know if you see any, or joind the editors in weeding them out.
  • The search engine and interface were updated.
    • There are more options in the Advanced Search.
    • Number of items displayed on letter pages or as search results can now be set by users.
    • Entries are now linked to several external resources: OED, NED, MED, DOE, DOEC and PIE dictionary.
    • The indication of vowel length can now be switched between acute accents, macrons and no indication to help when copying the material elsewhere.
    • Help section added.
    • Several other minor improvements & bugfixes were implemented.

29 July 2011

Performance Issues:

  • We are sorry for the latest series of slow-downs and black-outs, the number of visitors (and spammers) hitting the site has been steadily increasing and the testing of the upcoming morphological analyzer has been taking its toll. We have now optimized the site and it should all be loading significantly faster, just don't be alarmed if your edits are not immediately visible, the cache may take a while to update. And thanks for bearing with us.
  • Use CTRL+F5 to flush the cache, if you suspect that the page in question is outdated.

16 July 2011

Change in Word-list ordering:

  • Please note that the 10 preceding and 10 following entries displayed to the left of the currently opened entry may now seem different and items on the list may seem to be repeated. This is caused by the change of ordering in this "context" word-list: Now all entries from both the Main volume and the Supplement are sorted alphabetically and the nearest entries are displayed. Therefore the similar entries on the list may be one from the Main vol. and the other from the Supplement. I hope this will help you find entries from both volumes more easily.

17 June 2011

Spelling dictionaries for MS Word:

  • Thanks to Małgorzata Deroń (Poznań) there are now spelling dictionaries available for Old English based on our version of BT. Let us know, if you like them. If there are enough users, Małgorzata may consider updating the dictionaries to work with inflected forms and variants.
  • There are four files all together: one using accents to mark length, two using macrons (on the first or second vowel) and one without any diacritics at all.
  • Download all the dictionaries in one zipped file.
  • If you run into problems, check out the support page on how to install custom spelling dictionaries for MS Office.

11 March 2011

Quoting BT is much easier now:
  • To cite the online version of the dictionary, click the easybib icon right under the entry.
  • To cite the scanned paper version of the dictionary, click the "show/hide this scanned page" link under the entry, check the scan and use the citation information right above it.

If you cite the online dictionary or use it in classes, please let us know through the Guestbook, it will help us to keep the site running.

25 October 2010

Pronunciation is now included as an experimental feature. It is generated by a neat OE pronunciation algorithm developed by Daniel Marek as a part of his BA thesis "Phonological Changes between Old and Middle English (An Algorithmic Approach)". The algorithm takes very little heed of some morphological features and it does not work with etymological or suprasegmental features. The results are therefore accurate only to a limited extent. Check out the pronunciation of "scildan" for an example.

26 July 2010

After a few more hiccups a new feature again:

  • headwords that appear both in Bosworth-Toller and Wright's Old English Grammar (2nd ed.) are now interlinked. Entries like teón now feature links under the Morphological analysis tab that open a corresponding page in the Grammar without leaving the entry page.

23 June 2010

Sorry for the short black-out, the server was updated without any notice (which crashed the site). All should be up & running now.

Several updates happened meanwhile:

  • hundreds of small edits - typo weeding
  • thousands of new morpohological tags (mostly thanks to Misa)
  • scanned pages can be now viewed during edits
  • entries now show both related entries from the two volumes but also all linking entries (parts of paradigms, derived forms, variant spellings, etc.)
  • search engine overhaul
    • the search field to the left now ignores the differences in diacritics or thorn/ash as well as hyphens in compounds
    • if there are no matches against headwords, full-text search of the whole entries kicks in

1 March 2010

This is the first beta-version of the site and we will be glad for your feedback. You can reach us through the general Contact Form, or at the Forums.

Please accept our apologies for the inexcusably long time this site has taken to construct and the data behind it to process. We hope you will not be very much disappointed.

Ondřej Tichý, 2010

Bosworth's Note