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Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles

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Title: Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles  
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Subject: Canadian English
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Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles

"DCHP" redirects here. It is not to be confused with DHCP.

The Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles (DCHP) was edited by Walter S. Avis (ed.-in-chief), C. Crate, P. Drysdale, D. Leechman, M. H. Scargill, C. J. Lovell and published in 1967 by W. J. Gage Limited.

The DCHP was published after a period of about 12 years, and had a sizeable collection by C. J. Lovell at its base. W. J. Gage Publishers, the leading dictionary publisher for Canadian English (CanE) dictionaries at the time, contributed to the project (P. Drysdale was employed by Gage). In this way, the first edition (DCHP-1) was the result of both academia and a publishing house. More importantly, however, the academic partner, headed by editor-in-chief Walter S. Avis, were given free hand. The result, despite all monetary constraints and pre-computer editing techniques, was a ground-breaking dictionary in several ways: the DCHP-1 was the first scholarly historical dictionary of a variety of English other than British English (see OED) or American English (DAE, DA) (Dollinger 2006), the two dominant varieties of English throughout the 20th century.

Meanwhile, other varieties of English have become the focus of historical dictionary projects: Australian English (Ramson 1988), South Africa (Silva 1996) and New Zealand (Orsman 1997).

Recently, the DCHP has, after more than 40 years of existence without any updates, attracted considerable attention. Since 2004, Thomson Nelson Ltd., which acquired Gage Ltd. and with it the rights to the DCHP-1, has been actively seeking collaborators in academia to produce a new, fully revised and extended edition of the DCHP-1. This project, DCHP-2, was formally commenced at the University of British Columbia's Department of English in August 2006, after more than a year of preparatory work.


Completed in 2011 after automatic scanning and manual proofreading by a team of UBC students under the direction of Stefan Dollinger, DCHP-1 is republished in open access as of 2013, thanks to Nelson Ltd. Access DCHP-1 Online (Dollinger et al. 2013) here: (observe the upper case characters to connect to the site).

DCHP-2, fully revised and expanded, it expected for 2016 (thanks to a three-year SSHRC Insight Grant, Competition 2012, see, Insight Grants)

For details on the project group and contact information see [][1].


Cassidy, Frederick G. and Joan Houston Hall (eds.). 1985, 1991, 1996, 2002, in prep. Dictionary of American Regional English. Volumes Iā€“V. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Craigie, William and James R. Hulbert (eds.). 1968 [1938ā€“44]. A Dictionary of American English on Historical Principles. 4 volumes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

DA = Dictionary of Americanisms. See Mathews (ed.) 1951.

DAE = A Dictionary of American English on Historical Principles. See Craigie and Hulbert (eds.) 1968 [1938ā€“44].

DARE = Dictionary of American Regional English. See Cassidy and Hall (eds.) 1985, 1991, 1996, 2002, in prep.

OED = Oxford English Dictionary

Dollinger, Stefan. 2006. "Towards a fully revised and extended edition of the Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles (DCHP-2): background, challenges, prospects". HSL/SHL ā€“ Historical Sociolinguistics/Sociohistorical Linguistics (Leiden, NL). 6., 1 Sept. 2006.

Mathews, Mitford M. (ed.). 1951. Dictionary of Americanisms. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Orsman, H. W. (ed.). 1997. Dictionary of New Zealand English: A Dictionary of New Zealandisms on Historical Principles. Auckland: Oxford University Press.

Ramson, W. S. et al. (eds.). 1988. Australian National Dictionary. A Dictionary of Australianisms on Historical Principles. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Silva, Penny et al. (eds.). 1996. A Dictionary of South African English on Historical Principles. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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