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C. T. Onions (Charles Talbut Onions) Biography

(1873–1965), (Charles Talbut Onions), New English Dictionary, Oxford English Dictionary, A Shakespeare Glossary

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Joseph O'Connor Biography to Cynthia Ozick Biography

British lexicographer and grammarian, born in Edgbaston, War-wickshire, educated at Mason College, Birmingham. In 1895 he met James A. H. Murray, who invited him to join the staff of the New English Dictionary (later the Oxford English Dictionary) at Oxford, where Onions remained for the rest of his life. In 1914 he became a co-editor of the Dictionary and was independently responsible for the entries ‘Su–Sz’, ‘Wh–Worling’, ‘X’, ‘Y’, and ‘Z’. A Shakespeare Glossary (1911) formed a by-product of his lexicography and drew extensively on his native knowledge of Warwickshire dialect. He was a reader in English philology at Oxford from 1927 to 1949. In 1922 he became editor of The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1932) and subsequently worked with William Craigie as co-editor on the Supplement (1933) to OED. The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology (1966) was his major independent work. His other publications include the frequently reprinted An Advanced English Syntax (1904).

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