The sources for the Icelandic part of this work are the following.

1. Mr. Cleasby's collections, which have in words, phrases, and references supplied about one-half of the materials for the present work.

2. The Lexicon Poëticum, by Dr. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, born 1791, died 1852, a most excellent work, which has served as a chief guide in references from the old poetical language.

3. Fritzner's Dictionary, by Johan Fritzner, a Norse clergyman, begun shortly after the year 1850, and completed in 1867. It is a very rich and good collection, entirely independent of Mr. Cleasby, and has afforded much valuable assistance throughout.

4. Björn Halldórsson's Dictionary, Icelandic and Latin. The author, an excellent Icelandic clergyman, was born about 1715, and died 1794, and his work was published in 1814 by Rask, who also translated the original renderings into Danish: it is well known from the fact that Grimm in his Grammar has taken from it almost all his collection of the vocabulary of the Icelandic language.

5. Alt-Nordisches Glossar, by Theodor Möbius, 1866, a limited but independent collection, which has afforded many happy references.

6. The Dictionary published in Copenhagen in 1860 (Old-Nordisk Ordbog). This book has evidently been compiled from Cleasby's papers in Copenhagen: it omits all references. It has been of some use, as it has here and there shewn where words have been omitted in the transcripts now at Oxford.

7. Earlier Glossaries:

α. Specimen Lexici Islandici, by Magnús Ólafsson, an Icelandic clergyman, died 1636, published under the name Specimen Lexici Runici in 1650 by the Danish scholar Ole Worm, who also wrote it in the Runic character. This is the first Icelandic Glossary alphabetically arranged, and contains from 1200 to 1500 words with references. Hence the word 'Runick,' as applied to Icelandic, in Hickes and Johnson.

β. Lexicon Islandicum, by Gudmundus Andreae, an Icelander, died 1654, published by Resen in 1683; it derives all words from Hebrew: not very interesting and without references.

γ. Monosyllaba Islandica, by Rugman, an Icelander, 1676; it contains about 1400 such words.

δ. Index Linguae Veteris Scytho-Scandicae sive Gothicae, by Olaf Verelius, a Swedish scholar, died 1682, published by Rudbeck in 1691; a fairly done work, containing about 12,000 words with references from MSS.

ε. Lexicon Islandicum, a large collection made by Jón Ólafsson, born 1705, died 1779; it has not been published but is preserved in MS. in Copenhagen and has therefore not been within reach, but illustrations from it are now and then given from memory.

ζ. Skýringar, by Pál Vídalín, died 1727; a commentary on obsolete law terms, published at Reykjavik in 1854.

8. Indexes along with Editions, etc., e.g.

The 12th volume of Fornmanna Sögur;

Lexicon Mythologicum, by Finn Magnusen, affixed to the large edition of Sæmundar Edda;

Indexes to Njála, Grágás, Annálar, etc.;

Indexes along with Chrestomathies, e.g. Dieterich, a German scholar; as also Dieterich's Runic Glossary (Runen-schatz), 1844;

Physical Index in the Itinerary or Travels of Eggert Ólafsson, Copenhagen 1772;

Index on Medical Terms in Félags-rit, 1789, 1790;

Botanical Index in Hjaltalín's Icelandic Botany, 1830;

Indexes of Proper Names in Landnáma, 1843; in Fornmanna Sögur, vol. xii, and Flateyjar-bók, vol. iii; in Munch's Beskrivelse over Norge (Geography of Norway), 1849.

9. Mr. Vigfusson's own collections and such additions and illustrations as he has been enabled to make through his knowledge of his own mother-tongue.


The sources for the etymological part are chiefly the following.

Jacob Grimm, Deutsche Grammatik, a work which embraces all Teutonic languages.

For Gothic, the Glossary to Ulfilas, by Gabelenz and Loebe, 1843.

For Anglo-Saxon, Dr. Bosworth's Anglo-Saxon Dictionary; as also Grein's Poetical Glossary (Sprach-schatz), 1861 and 1864.

For Early English, the Ormulum, an old gospel paraphrase by Orm or Ormin (a Scandinavian name), published by Dr. White in 1852; it affords many illustrations of Scandinavian words, but it is chiefly curious for philological purposes because of the careful distinction it makes between short and long vowels.

For Northern English and Scottish, Jamieson's Dictionary.

For Old Saxon, Schmeller's Glossary to Heliand, an Old Saxon gospel harmony, 1840,

For Old and Middle High German, Graff's Sprach-schatz, and Mittelhoch-Deutsches Wörterbuch, 1854 sqq.