How the Oxford English Dictionary Went from Murderer’s Pet Project to Internet Lexicon | Atlas Obscura

A shot rang out into the cold night air in Lambeth Marsh, a notorious London slum. Police officers rushed to the scene. There, they found a well-dressed surgeon, Dr. William Chester Minor, who quickly admitted to committing a murder. While the body of a local man named George Merrit lay lifelessly on the ground, the doctor attempted to explain his motives.

He claimed he meant to shoot somebody else—who was part of a broad network of Irish avengers that were out to get him. After his unhinged confession, Minor was admitted to the Broadmoor Insane Asylum in 1872. He lived there for decades, reading books, painting watercolors, and contributing to the most comprehensive English language dictionary in existence, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED)…

Source: How the Oxford English Dictionary Went from Murderer’s Pet Project to Internet Lexicon | Atlas Obscura