7 Dictionaries You Didn’t Know You Need

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you are looking for unique words, you need unique dictionaries. These dictionaries should whet your appetite for unique words and their meanings.

The Little Book of Lost Words: Collywobbles, Snollygosters, and 86 Other Surprisingly Useful Terms Worth Resurrecting

What exactly is a fizgig or groke? This collection by Joe Gillard includes hundreds of unique terms from the past that describe the present, like snuggery—the comfy place you relax and scroll through your social media feeds instead of cleaning. Snollogosters—dishonest politicians and dewdroppers—young people who sleep all day—are two more examples.

My favorite thing to do with this book–use it in conjunction with the Shakespeare Insult Generator so I know exactly what I’m calling someone. For example, what

“Thou vain puisny-tilted no bowels!”

What did I just call my neighbor who plays his music loudly? Should I take it back?

The Lexicologist’s Handbook: A Dictionary of Unusual Words

The Lexicologist’s Handbook, written by Dane Cobain, introduces words you never knew you needed. If you want a book that looks like a dictionary but leaves out the boring words, this dictionary is ideal for your inner lexophile.

This dictionary of uncommon words has clear definitions and a larger collection of words that you might use.

Pronunciation: Lec-sic-ol-oh-jist Type: Noun
Definition: A student of language, particularly the components of language such as the nature or meaning of words. Also, a compiler or writer of a dictionary.
Example: The lexicologist was overjoyed to discover that lugubrious is a word.”

Epic English Words: Dictionary of Beauty, Interest, and Wonder

This dictionary, curated by Robin Devoe, isn’t interested in unusual words for the sake of their uniqueness. Instead, there is a strong focus on words from different disciplines, including mythology, geography, zoology, and geography. The inclusion of creative place names turns this into a dictionary that a writer of fantasy or a poet might pore over for ideas.

For a taste of how this dictionary can help, look inside the sample. The first two pages have already given me an idea for something to work on–as soon as I finish this post.

Dictionary of the Strange, Curious & Lovely

Robin Devoe also curated this dictionary. It contains 3,500 interesting, obscure, beautiful, and unique English words. It contains more words than Epic English Words, with clear but shorter definitions. I find it very scannable, sort of like scrolling through my Instagram feed in search of something that catches my interest.

Except there are no annoying reels. Whatever happened to pictures of your friends showing off their cooking disasters? Now it seems like a collection of ads with a random post in the mix. There–another idea for a post.

Decoding Gen-Z Slang: Your Guide to Learning, Understanding, and Speaking the Gen-Z Vernacular

Part dictionary, part cultural history, this book discusses the origins and evolution of unique words used by the young and trendy Gen-Z crowd. If you don’t know what YEET and OKURRR mean, this book is for you.

Devon Knott’s uses a conversational style to explore where the words came from and how they evolved. For example, the second chapter, “Revenge of the Nerds,” gives a more detailed history of the evolution of nerds than I did in “Who Invented the Word Nerd.” If you’re expecting a complete glossary of Gen-Z slang, this is not the book for you. But a complete glossary of slang isn’t possible, is it? By the time you finish, new slang words will have been created.

By the way, Only yeet something if you don’t care that it breaks.

And Okurrr? That’s hard to explain. Watch the video.

Okurrr Pepsi Commercial

The Hillbilly to English Translation Dictionary

From one culture to another, this amusing guidebook by Richard Nivens was written by a Southerner, so it’s okay for him to poke fun at himself. Use this entertaining book to broaden your horizons and learn another language.

You think learning French is difficult–try speaking hillbilly. After reading this book, you’ll know what a Southerner really means when they say, “Bless his heart.”

The Complete Rhyming Dictionary: Including The Poet’s Craft Book

No LIE—TRY before you BUY, but once you SPY it, you’ll not be able to PRY your EYE away.

This is not how a product recommendation should be written!


Seriously, what sets this rhyming dictionary apart from others is the guide to poetic techniques. Clement Wood’s original Rhyming Dictionary is the foundation for this update, It has been thoroughly updated and edited.

Bonus Dictionary:

French Menu Translator

This French-English dictionary provides translations and definitions for over 5,200 items seen on French menus in France, Belgium, Switzerland, and other French-speaking countries. It includes notes on ingredients and specific details as needed.

Whether you’re planning on traveling to France, love reading about French food, or want to show off your dictionaries, this book makes an interesting addition to your collection.

Everybody needs to know the difference between abricots Colbert and abricots Cussy, right?

A Non-Book Recommendation

If you have no room for books (but there’s always room! ), check out the unique words generator. According to the generator at perchance.org, Mammothrept is “a child who is raised and spoiled by their grandmother.”

That’s a good word to throw out the next time you see a kid crying because it didn’t get its way.

Or, maybe it’s safest just to think it.

That’s it for our list of unusual dictionaries. Yeet your fave dictionary recommendation in the comments.

And tip us with a like and a share.

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