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196Reviews Oxford: Clarendon, 1933. OEDS. A Supplement. 4 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1972-86. Onions, Charles T., et al. The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. Oxford: Clarendon, 1966. Partridge, Eric. Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English. 4th American ed. New York: Macmillan, 1977. Pokorny, Julius. Indogermanisches etymologisches W├Ârterbuch. 2 vols. Bern: Francke, 1959-69. Skeat, Walter W. An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. New ed. rev. and enl. Oxford: Clarendon, 1910. Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam, 1983. Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language. Springfield, MA: Merriam, 1961. Addenda section, 1981. * * * T. K. Pratt. Dictionary of Prince Edward Island English. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988. xxxii + 192 pp. U.S. $30.00. Dictionaries often give a linguistic community standing elsewhere, and, for its speakers, these dictionaries make their "own language" respectable. Such works seem particularly popular in island communities (as we see in the Dictionary of Jamaican English, the Dictionary of Bahamian English, and the Dictionary of Newfoundland English). The vocabulary recorded in all of them suggests a recurring feature of insular communities: few terms for Islanders, several for people who migrate elsewhere (PEI natives who move to the Boston States and become whitewashed Americans), and many for foreigners from the other side, across, or away. Pratt's Dictionary (henceforward DPEIE) is one in which all can take pride, particularly those present-day residents of Abegweit or Minegoo (Micmac names for the Island) whose sense of community is now jeopardized by a plan to bring in yet more tourists by constructing a bridge to the mainland of Canada. Reviews197 Selecting vocabulary to be included is always a difficult task, and Pratt warns users that his is not a "dictionary of 'Islandisms.'" Instead, he shows regional and non-standard words and senses that are shared with nearby communities (e.g., baker's fog, hitherto attested only in Newfoundland) or remote ones (e.g., whinge 'whine, whimper' which he reports to be "standard usage in Australia and New Zealand"). Unlike similar dictionaries, however, DPEIE does not expand its word list by including "words denoting something which has a real connection with the development of the country and the history of its people" (this is Craigie's definition from the preface to the Dictionary of American English). Thus, Pratt writes, the principle of selection derives from an effort to provide "a record of non-standard words as used, or once used, on Prince Edward Island" (xi). The prefatory discussion of standard, nonstandard, and substandard orphans the many entries for terms used in the local economy, particularly fur-fox raising, Irish-moss gathering , the fishery, and potato growing. Perfectly standard reference works have been combed for examples: Oyster Farming in the Maritimes, The Silver Fox Industry on Prince Edward Island, The Language of Lobster Fishing, Dictionary of Irish Moss, and the like. To call the specialized vocabularies of these enterprises nonstandard is to rob them of dignity at the same time as raising the pseudo-question of what is the standard vocabulary for the parts of a lobster pot. On this principle, however, stinking Willie or Billy 'common ragwort' is "excluded from this collection" on the grounds that it is treated as standard in Diane Griffin's Atlantic Wildflowers (s.v. bauglan), yet berried 'egg-bearing' (of a lobster) is included, though it is unlabelled in, for instance, Webster's Ninth New Collegiate. Still, however one may question the vexed issue of standardness, the fact that so many terms are included is among the most valuable aspects of DPEIE. The picture of traditional life in PEI that emerges from the entries displays survivors in a land of adversity. Food eaten by the poor provides a particularly rich source of vocabulary: Frenchman's turkey 'a fish dinner, usually herring', pork and jerk 'a scanty meal, during which a piece of pork or other food is passed around on a string by which it can be jerked from the mouth of an over-eager eater', potatoes-and point 'a scanty 1 98Reviews meal, during which scarce or costly food is only pointed at or imagined', skillick 'a small, almost worthless amount of something' (for instance...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 196-199
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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