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In the last few days a new website – historicalthesaurus.arts.gla.ac.uk – has gone online. The Historical Thesaurus of English is said to be the only resource to make the meaning of every English word from the last millennium available to the public. It is a digital version of the Historical Thesaurus of English Project, the printed version of which was published in 2009 after 44 years of work by academics at the University of Glasgow. The project has taken 230 linguists to complete and is still being added to.

Categories with the most words and phrases include terms of endearment – from ‘my dove’ to ‘luv’ – and include ways of calling someone drunk or stupid.

So, no excuses now for not getting the right word…

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