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Mrs Byrne's Dictionary - Cl [Hardcover]

4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 1994
A supplemental reference provides an offbeat source of unusual, obscure, and very legitimate English language terms, clearly and whimsically defined for the benefit of those needing "just the right word."

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First it must be known that all 6000 weird words lovingly compiled by Mrs. Byrne are "real" English words, legitimized by at least one major dictionary. That said, the inclusions are delightfully ludicrous, unfailingly obscure and often sadly missing from common parlance. The English language seems the poorer without "furfuraceous" (covered with dandruff), "omphaloskepsis" (meditation while gazing at one's navel) or "blabagogy" (a criminal environment). It's the most addictively interesting dictionary imaginable. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars English is a very, very rich language. June 18 2004
This informative, well-researched, very interesting, unique reference presents the meaning of 6000 of the most outlandish, eccentric, and strange legitimate words that are part of our English language. Each word's definition is clearly and fully explained, complete with its pronunciation and sometimes even a reference to its language of origin.
This comprehensive volume is a wonderful resource for trivia enthusiasts and people who just love words, language and slang, and it's perfect for offhanded browsing.
So, if you want to know if you've ever jargogled, marmarized or edulcolated anything, if anyone you know is psittaceous, valgus or a gobemouche, or what a diplasiasmus, a krobylos or lares and penates are, then this is the book for you.
Although most of the words contained in this volume are not fit for use in everyday conversations, this is still a fun way to discover new words with precise, astonishing and even outrageous meanings.
Overall, this book is a delightful, entertaining source of curious words and intriguing terms just waiting to be found.
--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar
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By A Customer
Re: Mrs Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual Obscure and Preposterous Words: we finally located this book at ISBN 0806504986 and ISBN 1559722339. However, if you try your search engine for "Byrnes Dictionary" you get no hits (because the apostrophe is missing) - our mistake. When we finally realised our error and searched for "Byrne's Dictionary", we score *three* hits (yes, go on, try it) but two of the hits are the same - one of them lists the book as "hard to get" while the other offers it for sale in your bookstore!! (We just put in an order for it tonight). Hope this helps, and many thanks for stocking it (we had no success in searching for the book here down under in Australia - out of print and able to be ordered only from US, but your prices are *much* lower than accepting the offer to order it thru our local shops. Whew! Our first Internet purchase, and we emerged unscathed by the experience, and even with a feedback to the webmaster.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Sesquipedalian Verbotopia Jan. 11 1997
By A Customer
My copy of Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary is, by far, the most dilapidated, dog-eared, written-upon and coffee-stained book now in my possession.

It is not because I hate the book that I have so thoroughly destroyed it. It is, rather, the fact that I refer to it all the time, and take copious notes -- which wind up all over its pages.

If you love words, this is the book I would recommend. You will find an inexhaustible supply of some of the most arcane and ludibund words in our language within these pages.

A great gift for the rantallion in us all!

Dave Beckwith


Charlotte Internet Society
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4.0 out of 5 stars very entertaining Sept. 9 2000
I just met Mrs. Byrne's dictionary at the home of a linguist. A houseful of brilliant linguists, and almost none had heard of any of the words. But they laughed and enjoyed them tremendously. Now I'm ordering a copy.
Though the author's intro says that all the words have been found in at least one reputable dictionary, some of these appear to be nonce words (no more established in use than a sniglet), while others are merely obscure. But both kinds are entertaining!
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