« PreviousContinue »
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1859, by
JOHN RUSSELL BARTLETT, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Rhode Island.
ALLEN AND FARXHAM, STEREOTYPERS AND PRINTERS.
TO THE SECOND EDITION.
The first edition of this Dictionary was published in New York in 1848. It met with a quick sale, and soon passed out of print. Aware of its many imperfections, I began my preparations for a new edition before it had fully left the press. From that time to the day the last sheets of this edition left my hands for the printer, now ten years, I have been more or less occupied in its preparation. Nearly three years of this period I spent in the interior of the country, in the service of the United States as Commissioner on the Mexican Boundary ; but even there, I failed not to note the peculiarities of the familiar language of the frontier, and carefully recorded the words and phrases I met with for future use. This experience enabled me to collect the singular words occurring in prairie and frontier life as well as those common to Texas, New Mexico, and California. Most of these have come from the Spanish, and are now fairly engrafted on our language.
The other alterations and improvements made in this edition, consist in the addition of a very large number of words and phrases peculiar to the United States ; so that it now contains probably twice as many as the first edition. The examples or illustrations from authors, showing the use of words, have also been greatly multiplied. This seemed desirable, as examples convey a far more correct idea of their meaning and use than a simple definition. The histories of words and their definitions have also been corrected and improved. In the additions to this work, I have to acknowledge valuable contribu