By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (February 1, 2024) – Today’s edition of Fun with Maps takes us to the true source of words and their meaning – look in the dictionary, not Google.


There are many dictionaries, but the most comprehensive dictionary of the English language is the Oxford English Dictionary.  The first portion was published on February 1, 1884 – 140 years ago.

It is a massive document containing just over 301,000 entries.  The third edition is being worked on currently and is expected to be completed by 2037.

Why so many entries?  Well, it contains not only currently used words but obsolete ones and traces the origin of all words.

There are shorter versions of the dictionary, of course. Which is good because a person typically uses only about 20,000 words.

Braun and Hogenberg published this set of views in 1575 showing Oxford on top and Windsor on the bottom.

Oxford-Windsor – Circa 1575 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.