Skip to main content


An introduction to concordances (now with added violence)

Edward Mills is a PhD student at the University of Exeter, and — like David, our previous author — was a recipient of a bursary from the AND and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to support research at the Dictionary’s offices. In this guest blog post, he offers an insight into how he spent his two weeks.
E quant l’enfant fust de set anz, si le manderent a Joce de Dynan pur aprendre e noryr, quar Joce fust chevaler de bone aprise.
And when the child was seven years old, they gave him to Joce of Dinan to be taught and brought up, since Joce was a knight of great learning.1

London, British Library, MS Royal 12 C XII (fol. 36r). Spot the reference to ‘aprendre e noryr’!
You’re seven years old. You didn’t sleep well last night — even an aristocratic family like yours, after all, isn’t immune from the winter chill — and you shiver slightly as you rise and go to rub the sleep from your eyes. Then you remember what your father told you the previous evening: that today was going to be …
Recent posts

guest blogger: Davide Battagliola

Davide Battagliola, post-doctoral researcher from the University of Milan visited the Anglo-Norman Dictionary project for 4 weeks in July-August 2018 – thanks to a bursary from the AND and the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council). During this period, he was able to continue his research in Aberyswyth, making use of the materials, resources and expertise of the AND team.He writes the following blogpost on his project.__________________________________________________________________

Writing Morality in the Anglo-Norman World

We can find a high number of continental manuscripts transmitting the Livre de Moralitez. This French translation of William of Conches’ Moralium Dogma Philosophorum achieved a remarkable success throughout Europe during the Middle Ages; yet, little did we know about the circulation of this moral treatise in medieval Britain.
The treatise opens with the author falling asleep and being visited in his dream by ancient philosophers and writers (miniature taken fr…

Announcement: Bursary for study of Anglo-Norman

The Anglo-Norman Dictionary (, an AHRC funded project held at Aberystwyth University, would like to invite expressions of interest in a post-graduate bursary fund supporting research on Anglo-Norman.

(Aberystwyth Univeristy, Old College) (image taken from
Over the next four years, five bursaries, of up to £1000 each, will be available to support post-graduate students and their research on projects related to Anglo-Norman. Applicants will be able to make use of the considerable resources available at the Dictionary office, including editions of Anglo-Norman works as well as a vast library of works on Anglo-Norman, Romance linguistics, etymology and lexicography. As visiting scholars at Aberystwyth University, applicants will also be able to make use of the university library as well as that of the National Library of Wales. Applicants may be asked to give a short research presentation to…

Anglo-Norman and Sound Art

Describing the meaning and semantic range of Anglo-Norman words has always been, and still is, the primary function of the Anglo-Norman Dictionary. However, the online AND ( also provides material, tools and research possibilities for medievalists, linguists and many other disciplines. When Dr. Alan Chamberlain, Senior Fellow in the Department of Computer Science of the University of Nottingham, visited us last week, to talk about a new and exciting project he proposes between his Mixed Reality Lab (University of Nottingham) and the Anglo-Norman Dictionary, the cross-disciplinary potential of online AND resources was clearly central to his ideas. Dr. Chamberlain explains his views on scholarly innovation through incorporating Anglo-Norman and the AND in his Experimental Digital Humanities and Sound Art:
Funnily enough I’d been reading a book on medicine in medieval society and had come across the Anglo-Norman word mire referring to a specific sort of medical practit…

AND site update: Search by semantic tag

The revised semantic labeling system
Already in the first published fascicle of AND1 (back in the late 1970s), the English definitions sometimes were given a semantic category label. For example, sub abatre1, the sense ‘to abate, put an end to’ was labelled ‘(law)’ and the sense ‘fir tree’ sub abiet had the label ‘(bot.)’. These bracketed items served to clarify the semantic context, identifying the first example as a legal term and the second as belonging to the semantic domain of botany. 
However, even in the first phases of the AND2, no clear editorial policy, let alone statement, existed about what labels should be used, where or why. In practice these labels (eccl., orn., med., nav., culin., arithm. etc.)  were inserted ad hoc, as and when an individual editor thought it would clarify a definition. As a result, such labels as were present were seriously inconsistent.
(For further discussion of this, see Geert De Wilde, ‘Re-Considering the Semantic Labels of the Anglo-Norman Diction…

AND site update: interface and layout

In the new updated version of the AND site (, there are now various ways of adjusting the way an entry is displayed and, to a certain extent, to customize the dictionary’s interface.
1. Font size. You can enlarge or reduce the font size of displayed entries using the A+ and A- buttons on the button bar near the top of the screen.

2. Hide citations. You can hide or reveal the citations in a displayed entry using the ‘[SHOW/HIDE] Citations’ button, also on the button bar. Particularly in longer entries, this option may be useful to get a quick overview of the full semantic range of a word.

It has to be noted that unlike the ‘sense boxes’ already available for a while in longer entries, this new feature includes a) all of the semantic tags and b) all locutions and their senses.

3. Display layout. Using the "gear wheel" setting icon at the top of the screen you can choose between three display layouts for the entry: "Compact", roughly equivalent to the…

AND site update: search options

Last week, the lay-out and presentation of the online AND [] was updated (for the first time since it was opened to the public back in 2006!), making it compatible for use on computers, tablets or handheld devices and adding new features. In the next couple of blog-posts, we will talk you through some of the possibilities and changes.
One immediately striking difference is that the main AND page now has two search boxes – two main ways of accessing entries in the dictionary.

1. Use ‘jump to’ for browsing the alphabetical list of headwords.
At start-up, the left-hand area of the screen shows a segment of the headword list starting with the first entry. As before, forms in white link directly to a substantive entry. Forms inyellow indicate a cross-reference headword, and lead automatically to the referenced substantive entry or entries. Click or tap on a headword to fetch the entry into the main area of the screen.
You can alter the point at which the wordlist beg…