Containing over 2,800 entries, complete with hundreds of explanations, this is the first compendium of lesser-known and nearly obsolete words in fifteen of Dickens's novels. Fred Levit provides definitions of words and quotations - some lost through the passage of time, others still used in Britain but not in the United States - all the while preserving the flavor of Dickens's writing. The variety of meanings and the often surprising differences between the current and nineteenth-century usage are a constant source of interest and amusement. Puns and jokes not otherwise apparent to the modern-day reader are discovered when the older language is explained. Even the well-known Christmas Carol contains many words whose connotation can be surprising to a modern reader. For example, what kind of food is brawn? What does a link-boy do? And what is a lumber-room? While other available resources are geared toward characters, historical references, and literary allusions, this book will be invaluable to scholars and general readers as an exclusive reference for Dickens's vanished vocabularv.