Friday, January 8, 2010

Noah Websters 1828 Dictionary

One of the books I wanted from Vision Forum this year was the "American Dictionary of the English Language" by Noah Webster 1828. Greg ordered me this book and it is huge. It has been very interesting to thumb through and see the differences in definitions in words between then and now & the words in 1828 that aren't even used now. So I thought I would look up some words and share what the definitions were then.....

BLESSED: Happy; prosperous in worldly affairs; enjoying spiritual happiness and the favor of God; enjoying heavenly felicity

FRUGAL: Economical in the use or appropriation of money, goods or provisions of any kind; saving unnecessary expense, either of money or of any thing else which is to be used or consumed; sparing; not profuse, prodigal or lavish.

FRUGALITY: prudent economy; good husbandry or housewifery; a sparing use or appropriation of money or commodities; a judicious use of anything to be expended or employed; that careful management of money or goods which expends nothing unnecessarily, and applies what is used to a profitable purpose; that use in which nothing is wasted.

HUSBAND: 1. A man contracted or joined to a woman by marriage. A man to whom a woman. is betrothed, as well as one actually united by marriage. 2. verb form: to direct & manage with frugality in expending any thing; to use or employ in the manner best suited to produce the greatest effect; to use with economy.

MARRIAGE: The act of uniting a man & woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which both parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them.

WIFE: 1. The lawful consort of a man; a woman who is united to a man in the lawful bonds of wedlock; the correlative of husband. 2. a woman of low employment

HOUSEWIFERY: the business of the mistress of a family; female business in the economy of a family; female management of domestic concerns.

DEBT: that which is due from one person to another, whether money, goods or services; that which one person is bound to pay or perform to another. In scripture debt is referred to as sin; trespass; guilt; crime; that which renders liable to punishment.

EDUCATE: to bring up, as a child; to instruct; to inform and enlighten the understanding; to instill into the mind principle of arts, science, morals, religion & behavior. To educate children well is one of the most important duties of parents and guardians.

and one more just because I have seen it in several definitions...

FELICITY: happiness, or rather great happiness, blessedness; blissfulness; appropriately the joys of heaven. Prosperity; blessing; enjoyment of good.

So, do these words mean the same thing today? Or how have everyones views changed since 1828? In my opinion, a great deal. I rather like the 1828 definitions of these words and the views they represent.

Lets have alot of Felicity in our lives as we carry on with our Housewifery & Frugality and Educate our children. And remember...we are BLESSED!


  1. I have wanted that dictionary for a long time, but haven't ordered it yet. It sounds like it would be great to have.

  2. We have had this book for a while. I so enjoyed it. We turn here when we want a true and historical word etomology. Since, I am "retired" from home schooling this is one of the treasured books that I kept.


Welcome to the farm ~ we are a blended family with 7 children (3 are married), 4 grandsons, 5 dogs, 3 rabbits, and 15 chickens living on 3 acres in Georgia. I love crafting, sewing, cooking & canning, recipes of all kinds, reading, playing with my little buddies, family time, travel, pinterest and most of all the Lord.