Monday, July 25, 2011

John Jamieson of the Scottish Dictionary

July 25.—Terry and wife arrived yesterday. Both very well. At dinner-time to-day came Dr. Jamieson of the Scottish Dictionary, an excellent good man, and full of auld Scottish cracks, which amuse me well enough, but are caviare to the young people. A little prolix and heavy is the good Doctor; somewhat prosaic, and accustomed to much attention on the Sunday from his congregation, and I hope on the six other days from his family. So he will demand full attention from all and sundry before he begins a story, and once begun there is no chance of his ending.

John Jamieson became pastor in a Forfar Secessionist congregation in 1779.  Somewhat like Samuel Johnson, Jamieson published a dictionary, with Jamieson’s focused on the Scottish language rather than English.  Jamieson’s dictionary was published in 1825, and Dr. Jamieson visited Scott on July 25, 1826, as Scott recorded in his journal.

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