Sunday, September 20, 2009
A Matter of Words
I've always loved trivia, but have recently developed a bit of an obsession for the etymology of words. It all started simple enough... I was writing my steampunk romance and was not sure if the word I was using would have been accurate for my time period. In my search I stumbled across a fantastic website, Online Etymology Dictionary. Now, I don't know how I ever lived without it.
By avoiding modern day words, and also using words common during your time period, it is an easy way to set the mood and feel for your manuscript. Most often than not, reading other works that are either set or were written during that time is the easiest way to pick up on a feel for the language and develop your vocabulary. Of course, there are several websites that have compiled lists, so here are a few I've come across that you might find helpful.
The Victorian Slang Dictionary
The Victorian Dictionary
Canting Dictionary (Thieving Slang) 1736
Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue
How to Speak Proper
Please feel free to share any sites you have found helpful.