A Dictionary of American English on Historical Principles (DAE) is a dictionary of terms appearing in English in the United States that was published in four volumes from 1938 to 1944 by the University of Chicago Press.[1][2][3] Intended to pick up where the Oxford English Dictionary left off, it covers American English words and phrases in use from the first English settlements up to the start of the 20th century.


The work was begun in 1925 by William A. Craigie. The first volume appeared in 1936 under the editorship of Craigie and James R. Hulbert,[4] a professor of English at the University of Chicago. The four volume edition was completed with the help of George Watson and Allen Walker Read. The group referenced early literature depicting American regional accents, including three novels by John Neal: Brother Jonathan (1825), Rachel Dyer (1828), and The Down-Easters, &c. &c. &c. (1833).[5]

The work was one of the sources for the Dictionary of Americanisms, c. 1952, prepared under the direction of Mitford Mathews. A similar, but unrelated modern work, the Dictionary of American Regional English, has been compiled to show dialect variation.


I. A – Corn patch.
II. Corn pit – Honk.
III. Honk – Record.
IV. Recorder – Zu-zu, Bibliography (p. 2529-2552)


  1. ^ "Library of Congress LCCN Permalink for 39008203". lccn.loc.gov. Archived from the original on December 13, 2012. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
  2. ^ John Davidson (Oct–Dec 1940). "A Dictionary of American English on Historical Principles". The Sewanee Review. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 48 (4): 544–546. JSTOR 27535715.
  3. ^ d. n (1962). "Short Notices". The Review of English Studies. Oxford University Press. XIII (50): 221–222. doi:10.1093/res/XIII.50.221.
  4. ^ Hubert, James R. Guide to the James R. Hulbert Papers, 1912–1936. Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
  5. ^ Lease, Benjamin (1972). That Wild Fellow John Neal and the American Literary Revolution. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. p. 189. ISBN 0-226-46969-7.