Language evolves and dictionaries with it – we can only wonder what changes in the meaning of common, everyday words we might find were we to crack open the carefully preserved dictionaries hiding in the Rare Books room.
If you are interested in finding out, please ask a member of library staff. You can read, photograph pages in any of our rare books (though sadly not borrow because rare books are often a little fragile and, well, rare) and many of them are absolutely fascinating, from illustrated works by luminary artist and poet William Blake to editions of the Oxford English Dictionary that might be older than you. You can find the full list of rare book collections we hold under “Resources > Special Collections” on the Library website.
Even the year just gone has seen sweeping changes to the English language, as described on OED.com – tap or click here for details.