The Dictionary Unit for South African English. South African Concise Oxford Dictionary

  • Rajend Mesthrie Linguistics Section, Department of English, University of Cape Town, Cape Town,Republic of South Africa


The South African Concise Oxford Dictionary (henceforth SACOD) is a South Af-rican version of the Concise Oxford Dictionary, the first time that this particular hybrid has been prepared. It is testimony to the enduring success of the work of the Dictionary Unit for South African English at Rhodes University, headed by teams that included Jean and William Branford in the 1970s, Penny Silva in the 1990s and now, Kathryn Kavanagh. The lexicographical work from the unit saw the publication of four editions of the Dictionary of Southern African English (1978, 1980, 1987, 1991), a South African Pocket Oxford Dictionary (SAPOD) and the Dictionary of South African English on Historical Principles (DOSAEHP) (1995). SACOD differs from the rest in several ways. It is larger in scope than SAPOD, smaller than DOSAEHP, and unlike DOSAE and DOSAEHP, does not deal with South African words alone. Based on the 10th edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary SACOD has excised some words from the parent, whilst adding many new words of general English as well as of South Africa.
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