What is a handbook? The word “handbook” seems to have received its start in life as the English form of the German “handbuch”, with the adoption not always having received complete approval. In his English, Past and Present (1871), Richard Chenevix Trent refers to this handbuch‐to‐handbook caper and says, “Possessing the word ‘manual’, we need not have called ‘handbook’ back from an oblivion of 900 years.” James A. H. Murray, in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (1901), gives the 900 A.D. definition of the Old English “handboc” as “a small book or treatise”.

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