I assign a higher rating to Schmidt's lexicon than to C.T. Onions's *Shakespeare Glossary* (which I have also reviewed) for the reason that, although both compendiums by now do show their age, Schmidt's two volumes (one of course needs N-Z with this one) are all in all in many ways more comprehensive and informative than Onions's single-volume work (even after its updating by Eagleson).
Readers of Shakespeare should NOT assume that if they use an unannotated edition (e.g. the Oxford Complete Works) they will understand everything they read if only they consult Schmidt or Onions or both. For one thing, many words in Shakespeare look intelligible from a modern viewpoint, but in fact had a different meaning in Shakespeare's day: an uninitiated reader will miss many such instances if s/he does not use good annotated editions by expert scholars, who provide glosses for well-considered and essential reasons. And I do not even dwell on the need to be aware of bawdy puns (see my review of Onions), or of other specific usages (e.g. legal terms), on which a good deal of new work has been done in recent years. Therefore, purchase of valuable volumes like these should be seen as SUPPLEMENTARY to the use of good, carefully annotated editions. - Joost Daalder, Professor of English, Flinders University, South Australia