May 17, 2022

Reference: University of Glasgow Releases “Historical Thesaurus of English” Web Resource (Free)

From the U. of Glasgow:

Most people will have ended up a little worse for wear after having one too many, however you’d probably never think of yourself as having been puggled, half-shaved or stocious.

If these words mean nothing to you then you might need to consult the new Historical Thesaurus of English (HT) web resource, which launches today. The HT is the only online resource to make every English word from the last 1,000 years and its meaning available to the public and fully searchable.

The HT contains a record of nearly 800,000 words used at any point over the last millennium. It also contains links to their synonyms and records when the word came into and disappeared from use.

The new website uses information developed through the Historical Thesaurus of English Project, the printed version of which was first published in 2009 after 44 years of painstaking work by academics at the University of Glasgow. The new website is being launched on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the project and provides a clear and easy to use resource for both scholars and members of the public alike.


The new website is designed to be used on mobile phones and tablets as well as desktop and laptop computers, and also has comprehensive About pages with information, photographs and links about the project and its history. Each page has a unique URL to allow people to share Historical Thesaurus categories by email and social media.

Direct to Historical Thesaurus of English (HT)

Learn More about the HT

Note: Each entry in the thesaurus ALSO includes a direct link to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). This is a fee-based resource but some libraries (of all types) provide free remote access, 24x7x365. You will need a library card to access. Bottom Line? Call, email, or visit your library and ask. OED is one of many remotely accessible resources many libraries provide.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.