Jamaican Hall of Fame: Dr. Frederic Gomez Cassidy

Dr. Frederic Gomes Cassidy was born in Kingston, Jamaica on October 10, 1907 and died on June 14, 2004. In the early years of his studies he attended the University of The West Indies, located in Mona Heights, Jamaica. Dr. Cassidy was also a student at Oberlin College and the University of Michigan in America. His education lead him to become a Linguist and Lexicographer.Through his hard work and studies, he became an authority on Anglo-Saxon English Composition, Jamaican English, Pidgin and Creole Languages. During his lifetime his stellar mentoring of Languages earned him the title, Honorary Doctor of letters.

He was best described as being a spirit of “human-heartedness” because he was a genuine person and a scholar. He was most remembered for being a premier contributor to The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE).

Dr. Frederic Cassidy was a field worker for the Linguistic Atlas of The United States Survey. In the later years of his life he became the editor of The American Dialect Society’s dictionary project. In addition, to his many achievments as Linguist and Lexicographer, Dr. Cassidy supported the Dictionary of Newfoundland English and eventually became the Co-editor of The Dictionary of Jamaican English.

An excerpt from Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, best describes the character of Dr. Frederic Gomes Cassidy. “He was a scholar, and a ripe good one; exceedingly wise, fair spoken, and persuading, And to those of them that sought him, sweet as summer”.