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Sir William Alexander Craigie Biography

(1867–1957), New English Dictionary, Oxford English Dictionary, Supplement, Dictionary of American English, Specimens of Icelandic Rimur

British lexicographer, born in Dundee, educated at the University of St Andrews. In 1897 he was invited to join the staff of the New English Dictionary (1928), as the Oxford English Dictionary was originally known. He remained engaged on the dictionary, of which he became a co-editor with James A. H. Murray and Henry Bradley in 1901, until 1933, when the first Supplement was published. He was responsible for ‘N’, ‘Q’, ‘R’, ‘U’, ‘V’, ‘Si–Sq’, and ‘Wo–Wy’, a contribution amounting to around one-fifth of the main work and one-third of the Supplement. Upon the dictionary's completion in 1928 he was knighted. He was Professor of English at the University of Chicago from 1925 to 1936 and co-edited the Dictionary of American English (191955). His other publications include Specimens of Icelandic Rimur (3 volumes, 1952), a comprehensive survey of the literature of Iceland, where he was held in high regard. His Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue remained unfinished at his death.

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