Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles Online

The first edition, from 1967, of The Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles is now available online. A second edition is in preparation with publication targeted for 2015.

So now you can look up toque (1888, or 1882 for the spelling tuque) and Chesterfield (1903).

Making this resource freely available is a good thing, but the dictionary does have its limitations. Most notably, it is from 1967, so many recent Canadianisms are not to be found in it. There is no entry for poutine, for example. Also, the DCHP only includes citations from Canadian sources. While this policy is great for tracking Canadian usage, users must remain aware that many of the terms are older in other dialects. For example, the OED has a British use of Chesterfield a decade before the word appears in Canada, and use of toque goes back to the sixteenth century. And in a bad web design choice, users must click on each citation to see the bibliographic data, which is annoying and time consuming.

So while the DCHP is not a one-stop language site, it is a valuable addition to the lexicographic resources available on the web.

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