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Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure,…

Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words:…

by Josefa Heifetz Byrne

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My work colleague has a copy of this book and it has become a habit of mine to open to a random page and find, for example, that there are a number of people in my office that have a scurfy ("pertaining to dandruff) problem or that many of them often look very mang (anxious or puzzled). Indeed, any random page will result in a pleasant journey into the wonderful world of words.

My colleague has highlighted some of his favourite words, including "whiskerino" (a beard growing contest"), "stasivalence" (the ability to have sexual intercourse only while standing) and the magnificent "lalochezia" (talking dirty to relieve tension) and I'm sure every reader will have their own preferences. Personally, I'm glad to see my own favourite word, "wayzgoose" (an annual holiday for those in the printing industry) is included.

This book also allows me to reminisce about the time when I was about 12 and innocently looked up the word "catamite", thinking it has something to do with railway stations. It doesn't, unless there's some even weirder fetishes out there than the sober human mind can imagine. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Sep 11, 2014 |
It is unusual to find a dictionary with the holding power to keep you reading and laughing for hours, but that's what this will do. I found the "nomancies" enough of a motivation to keep reading, and once took on the personal challenge of finding an excuse to use cephalonomancy in a sentence. Not surprisingly it was in an economics discussion that I found a window of opportunity. Highly recommended for the word freak in you. ( )
1 vote JacksonArthur | Mar 31, 2013 |
longest word in the English language, and other cool words. A must for Scrabble. ( )
  stunik | May 28, 2009 |
hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian, (hip-o-pot-e-mon-stroses-kwi-pe-da-li-en), adj. pertaining to a very, very long word. ( )
  Porius | Oct 27, 2008 |
Here at last is a REAL dictionary for those of us who have a taste for those beautiful obscure words. English majors, crossword lovers, trivia freaks, or just those that have a LOVE for the written word will pass many an amused hour rifling through the pages of this wonderful lexicon.
HIGHLY recommended. ( )
4 vote PandorasRequiem | Dec 29, 2006 |
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Aa n. rough, tumbling lava (Hawaiian).
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0806504986, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:35 -0400)

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