Hard to locate, George Percy Badger’s English-Arabic Lexicon is a must-have dictionary for the scholar seriously interested in the historical lexicography of Arabic. This four-volume set, with its English words rendered into literary and colloquial Arabic, has a charm appropriate to its period. Additionally, this major lexicon has an undiscovered fount of information. Badger, who was raised among those speaking the colloquial Arabic of Malta, showed himself to have linguistic promise at an early age. Prior to his enormous undertaking of this dictionary, choices for the English reader were rare. Badger was aware of the need to offer students of the language a source to find a way to represent their native English into Arabic. This serious undertaking was the labor of a lifetime. As a historical dictionary this work will be valued by Arabists for its place in the history of the study of the language.
George Percy Badger (1815-1888) was a priest of the Church of England. Raised largely on Malta, he lacked formal education and credentials, but proved himself adept at languages. Badger was part of the first serious attempt of the Anglican Church to establish an Assyrian mission. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Archbishop of Canterbury.