The Lexicologist’s Handbook

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A book review of The Lexicologist’s Handbook: A Dictionary of Unusual Words by Dane Cobain

A book review of The Lexicologist's Handbook: A Dictionary of Unusual Words by Dane Cobain

Stars: ****

Self-Published (2021)
405 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: Lexicologist
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.

Whether you’re an author, a poet, a songwriter or a student, The Lexicologist’s Handbook will introduce you to words that you’ve never heard before and change the way that you look at language.

Like a traditional dictionary but with the boring words left out, The Lexicologist’s Handbook will help you to broaden your vocabulary and impress your friends while entertaining you along the way. It’s the perfect book for all lexophiles.

The Lexicologist’s Handbook

If you are a word or language lover like me this is the perfect book for you. This dictionary only includes interesting and unusual words so it’s fun to pull out when you feel like learning new words. Read a new word each day if you want or devour the book in one sitting (although it’s a bit long for that.)

Although the book is long, the entries are short. Here is an example entry:


Pronunciation: Arr-kay-ick Type: Adjective

Definition: Old or out-dated, often used to describe habits of spellings.

Example: The Olde Sweet Shoppe was Laura’s favourite archaic purveyor of confectionary.

The Lexicologist’s Handbook by Dane Cobain

If you see a little dagger icon after a word in a definition or example, it means that word is elsewhere in the book. For example purveyor in the above example can be found defined in the book too.

Also the pronunciations are written phonetically the way the author says them, not with the standard systems. This means that some words might be pronounced differently by you as people from different parts of the same country speak English differently. But it also makes it easier to understand how to pronounce.

I’d say I have a pretty good vocabulary but there are plenty of words here I don’t know. That said I do know some of them. In a random sampling of the letter D section for example, I knew half of the words although a few I’m not sure I could have defined myself. I think that’s a good percentage.

I think I might use some of the words in this book in our homeschool by introducing a fun word once a week or day and seeing if it we can find ways to use it.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.