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Is there a database containing words that were not only once common but also now archaic?

I would like to have a list of, say the 100 statistically most frequently used words in 17th, 18th and 19th Century English but filter out all words still in common use.

So, for instance, the 'hath' formation would be fairly common in 17th C English, and would appear on such a list, but 'the' wouldn't.

Presumably one with coding knowledge could use Google Books/ngram data to generate this?

To clarify: I am aware that there are loads of lists of vocabulary already out there: I want one with some statistical basis.

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  • 2
    Interesting question. I’ve voted to move it to meta. – Xanne Aug 24 at 22:40
  • Alack, methinks nae. – Benjamin Harman Aug 24 at 23:19
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    You mean other than the OED? – David M Aug 25 at 0:54
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    This site gives some archaic words (though I don't know whether this is what you want or not), but no statistical data :( – Justin Aug 25 at 2:52
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    Justin: that is a useful list of words, but let's say you were trying to get a flavour of 17th as opposed to 18th Century English, how would you be able to say, e.g., "Thou" was very rare in casual 18th Century English? Basically, has anybody used the extant texts from these periods to generate a distinct lexicon for each period? If not, could we do it using the data from Google Books, for example? – tardy pigeon Aug 25 at 5:48
  • OED is a good source, David M, but can we filter out the rarely used words (calbum, lacuna) from those that are used in lots of different contexts (and that are now archaic to boot)? – tardy pigeon Aug 25 at 9:45
  • You may get results over on stackoverflow.com , since this seems to be in the direction of sources for programming tasks. (they have similar questions there) – Mitch Aug 26 at 12:16
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    I've downloaded the Google 1-, 2- and 3-grams from here; actually only the 1-grams are needed to make a list. I'll have a look if it yields something interesting. – Glorfindel Aug 27 at 20:35
  • Thanks, Glorfindel. I know it might throw up some odd things due to spelling, but I am surprised no one has done it before as it would be really useful! – tardy pigeon Aug 27 at 22:09
  • Depends to a great extent on how you define "archaic" (as different from OED). Explore COCA, too. Good Luck. – Kris Aug 28 at 11:44

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