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From Anschluss to Zyklon B

The Dictionary of Coming to Terms with the Past (Wörterbuch der 'Vergangenheitsbewältigung') examines over 1,000 German words that have Nazi connotations, such as Endlösung (Final Solution) and Selektion, It is featured in a review by der Spiegel. Such loaded words still constitute a minefield for Germans today, as the Archbishop of Cologne discovered last year in a situation analogized to Senator Biden's use of the term "articulate" when referring to Senator Obama. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Feb 17, 2008 - 49 comments

Oh, so that's what that thing on my sink is called!

Visual Dictionary Online - diagrams of everyday objects (and ones not so ordinary) for the visual thinkers among us. (via)
posted by desjardins on Nov 28, 2007 - 15 comments

The coolest dictionary known to hombre

Lingro. Enter a website in the box to make all words on the page clickable. Available for English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Polish.
posted by Lezzles on Nov 20, 2007 - 15 comments

ASL Videos

American Sign Language Flash Video Dictionary is a high quality, free dictionary with a huge number of signs. It includes specialized dictionaries of religious signs, conversational phrases, and ASL for babies. Unfortunately it's not possible to link to specific signs, but if you look inside you'll find words from "Abbreviate" to "Zoom" and phrases such as "I cannot fasten my belt," "has he been neutered?" "I already took a bath," "are you married?" and "I need a better firewall."
posted by alms on Jul 25, 2007 - 17 comments

Vulgar Song and Slang from the 19th Century and earlier

Francis Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue from 1811. Canting Dictionary (thieving slang) from 1736. Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang Rhymes (1536–1896). Before you end up scragged, ottomised, and grinning in a glass case, you should learn to sing Frisky Moll's Song... and know what the heck it means:
A famble, a tattle, and two popps,
Had my Boman when he was ta’en;
But had he not bouz’d in the diddle shops,
He’d still been in Drury-Lane.

posted by Kattullus on Jul 1, 2007 - 15 comments

New Dictionary Words: extraordinary rendition or girlfriend experience?

Hundreds of 'new' words in the new edition of the Collins English Dictionary (Reuters story), also via BBC, AP and the Fox Television Stations (headline with no story, surprising since its publisher is another Rupert Murdoch subsidiary... but I digress). Some are obvious: hoodie, wiki, POTUS, plasma screen; some reflect our times: Gitmo, Londonistan, extraordinary rendition, carbon footprint; some are absolutely slangy: celebutante, McMansion, muffin top, man bag, disemvowel, barbecue stopper, girlfriend experience... Also in the book: ho. And not the version Santa Claus says. The new dictionary is available "online, on mobiles, as a desktop application or integrated with Microsoft Word" - when you buy the deadtree edition.
posted by wendell on Jun 4, 2007 - 22 comments

Exploding word associations

Visuwords - an online graphical dictionary that uses Princeton's WordNet. Input a word and watch the branching associations.
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 25, 2007 - 20 comments

Thow Arte a Kyng

Archaic English Project: "The primary goal of the Archaic English Project was the resurrection of favorite archaic English words."Also, A Concise Dictionary of Middle English. A few Middle English texts. Harvard's Chaucer website
posted by Gnostic Novelist on Mar 18, 2007 - 18 comments

Talkin' dictionaries at Google.

I know you people like words and language, and I know you like Google, so when I found a clip of Erin McKean giving a talk about dictionaries at Google, I thought "Normally, I wouldn't watch a 54-minute video of someone giving a talk, but this one was really interesting, and maybe my fellow MeFites will think the same thing." (Be sure and stick around for the Q&A session at the end; Google people, as you might expect, ask really interesting questions.) Erin McKean is not only the editor of The New Oxford American Dictionary, she's got a dressmaking blog. And if you don't feel like watching a video right now, here's a transcript of an hour-long online chat at Wordsmith.Org from a couple years ago. (Video link via Taccuino di traduzione.)
posted by languagehat on Feb 17, 2007 - 34 comments

The Wikipedia of dictionaries

Wikiwords is a collaborative project to create a dictionary of all terms in all languages.
posted by anjamu on Aug 11, 2006 - 18 comments

Scots' speech for the glaikit

Losh! That's a stoater of a web site!
posted by persona non grata on Jul 21, 2006 - 20 comments

Is the lumbago flaring up?

The Archaic Medical Terms Dictionary. This was intended as a tool for genealogists and historians, but it is fun to browse. If you're suffering from Rag-Picker's Disease you are in trouble and Haematemesis looks pretty serious too. If you know what "Black Tongue" or "Painter's colic" are, you can contribute to the author's unsolved page.
posted by marxchivist on Jun 9, 2006 - 8 comments

also featuring the mystery of chicken tikka masala

Were you a minger, sporting a mullet, looking a bit naff when you were getting mullered while out on the pull, anytime before 1988? Or were you posh and minted, looking snazzy after spending your dosh to get a nip and tuck before 1980? If so, the Oxford English Dictionary and the BBC need you for their Wordhunt – a call to help find the earliest verifiable usages of a list of words from the past decades whose origin is still uncertain.
posted by funambulist on Jan 9, 2006 - 28 comments

Get your bombast on

Grandiloquent Dictionary For all the logophiles. Not intended for those afflicted with ultracrepidarianism or logorrhea.
posted by caddis on Jan 9, 2006 - 23 comments

Dictionary

Merrian-Webster open dictionary "Have you spotted a new word or a new sense for an old word that hasn't made it into the dictionary yet? Well, here's your chance to add your discovery (and its definition) to Merriam-Webster's Open Dictionary"
posted by robbyrobs on Dec 11, 2005 - 22 comments

WOOUUIIIIII: The sound that a radio makes while being tuned

Ka-BOOM! :: A Dictionary of Comicbook Words on Historical Principles, Based on the Latest Conclusions of the Most Dubious Wordologists & Comprising Many Hundreds of New Words which Modern Literature, Science & Philosophy have Neglected to Acknowledge as True, Proper & Useful Terms & Which Have Never Before Been Published in Any Lexicon
posted by anastasiav on Nov 21, 2005 - 17 comments

The Dictionary of the Khazars

The Dictionary of the Khazars "For all its delights, for all the structural novelty and the comic inventiveness of the imagery, it must be said there is something rather light and airy about this book. It is fun to chase down all the linkages between entries; but as they are conjoined more by the bubbling repetition of motifs and the requirements of the formal devices than by real narrative event or development, it is, as Mr. Pavic himself suggests, a bit like working a crossword puzzle."
posted by dhruva on Nov 20, 2005 - 9 comments

The Singing Dictionary

Dictionaraoke. Your favorite songs, as performed by the audio pronunciation samples from online dictionaries.
posted by CunningLinguist on Sep 8, 2005 - 48 comments

dis is crunk, yo

ay yo trip!
posted by Citizen Premier on Aug 30, 2005 - 4 comments

Chevre, Chia Seed, Chifferi ... No Chi Chi's?

Glossary of Food Terms From Abalone to Zweiback, this extensive reference of food terms is found, somewhat surprisingly, on the site of a salsa manufacturer. Who knew advertising could be so useful?
posted by jacquilynne on Jul 6, 2005 - 9 comments

Wiki site for English idioms, words

What Does That Mean explains what it means to be having a blue or to be loaded for bear. This is a newish wiki site, so could use some more content. Me? I'm off to get something from the chilly bin and then I may add some regional idioms of my own...
posted by Fozzie on Jun 20, 2005 - 31 comments

Riding the rails: hopper tales and boxcar art

A dictionary of old hobo slang might be a handy tool to bring along when traveling through North Bank Fred's colorful stories, photos, and chalkings of today's hobo jungles.
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 2, 2005 - 16 comments

I'll see you in MetaTalk, supak!

Is your favorite swear word losing its potency? Stock up on some new ones with the Swearsaurus, a "vast array of swearing, profanity, obscenity, blasphemy, cursing, cussing, and insulting in a massive 165 languages"
posted by Quartermass on Feb 27, 2005 - 21 comments

A pronounced deficiency in IQ

Redneck ebonics triumphs. Merriam-Webster online now gives "nu-kyu-lar" as an alternative pronunication of "nuclear." While dictionaries have become more descriptive and less prescriptive over the years, shouldn't they at least list it as [idiotic variant]?
posted by QuietDesperation on Jan 27, 2005 - 160 comments

Not that there's anything wrong with it

Seinfeld Dictionary Head-First Parker - 1) a person who tries to pull into a parking space head first as opposed to backing into the space 2) a person who pulls into a parking space head first with the intention of screwing someone else out of the space
posted by BradNelson on Dec 6, 2004 - 29 comments

English to English

The Internet's Most Accurate English-to-English Dictionary This internet service will translate any English word, phrase or passage into English, or vice versa. Your original grammar, style, and spelling are left intact!
posted by adampsyche on Sep 29, 2004 - 21 comments

and I wonder where she will staaay, my lil JRunaway. A run-run-run-JRunaway.

You can get at the Oxford English Dictionary for free. Yay. Unfortunately you have to use this backdoor thing. Don't tell anyone.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Sep 12, 2004 - 59 comments

Onomatopoeia, gee it's good to see ya!

If you don't like dictionary posts, look away, NOW!
But if you like to play with words, the dictionarians at Merriam-Webster have announced the winners in their poll for the Ten Favorite Words for 2004:
defenestration, serendipity, onomatopoeia, discombobulate, plethora, callipygian, juxtapose, persnickety, kerfuffle and flibbertigibbet
Also, a list of runners-up with more of my personal faves: oxymoron, copacetic, curmudgeon, conundrum, euphemism, superfluous, and of course, Smock! Smock! Smock!
[more inside] Via vidiot.
posted by wendell on Jun 12, 2004 - 41 comments

Head-butt

Give me a Glasgow kiss! The OED's newest English words. Glasgow kiss, n. [ Glasgow, the name of a city in west central Scotland + KISS n., in humorous allusion to the reputation for violence accorded to some parts of the city. Cf. earlier Liverpool kiss s.v. LIVERPOOL n.] A head-butt.
posted by mfoight on Jun 10, 2004 - 19 comments

Muckle bonnie wirds

Dictionary of the Scots Language. The two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language, the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) and the Scottish National Dictionary (SND), have been combined into one searchable online edition:
Thus, information on the earliest uses of Scots words can be presented alongside examples of the later development and, in some cases, current usage of the same words. In this way, we hope that the DSL will allow users to appreciate the continuity and historical development of the Scots language. By making the DSL freely available on the Internet, we also aim to widen access to the source dictionaries and to open up these rich lexicographic resources to anyone with an interest in Scots language and culture.

posted by languagehat on Apr 2, 2004 - 13 comments

OED new words

F-word now a word, as well as : twelve-incher, sheepshagger, and old man of the woods! The newest real English words now in the OED.
posted by mfoight on Mar 22, 2004 - 10 comments

The Skeptic's Dictionary

The Skeptic's Dictionary is a wonderful resource for all sentient individuals: 'A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions (and how to think critically about them)'. It's where I send people when they start telling me nonsense. It is also a jolly good read: try the entry for natural, for example. And some entries, like the entry for IQ and race, verge on the profound. There is a print edition, but the extensive internal and external site linkage makes reading the collection online a particular joy. While The Skeptic's Dictionary has been referred to before on MeFi, the link made the site out to be a cornucopia of Urban legend-style oddities, like Snopes. Which I thought was a shame: not dissing Snopes, but the Skeptic's Dictionary delivers a firm grounding in critical thinking as well. This post is dedicated to all of my relatives who chipped in to buy shark cartilage tablets and several fifty-dollar pamphlets full of testimonials after my father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and who probably still think the worse of me for not contributing to their folly.
posted by chrisgregory on Feb 6, 2004 - 28 comments

Who deserves a break today?

McDonalds CEO Puts McJob in Mainstream. By taking Merriam-Webster to task for including McJob ("low paying and dead-end work") in its latest Collegiate Dictionary, McDonald's CEO Jim Cantalupo has ensured that yet another disparaging fast-food web-fed meme joins the venerable "You want fries with that?" If this had been Fox, I would have said it was intentional.
posted by mischief on Nov 8, 2003 - 39 comments

The Wingnut Debate Dictionary

The Wingnut Debate Dictionary - spice up your political screeds with some colorful new terms like Colmestrato (n.) - an emasculated, harmless "liberal" stand-in included for purposes of fairness and balance and Condiment - a statement that needs to be taken with a heavy pinch of salt. I am so adding Deus ex rectum and Stepford Democrat to my vocabulary. And how is it that fucksimilie hasn't found it's way here long before now?
This is a game that MeFi wags of all political persuasions can play...anyone have any terms to add to the lexicon? (compiled by Ethel the Blog)
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 7, 2003 - 25 comments

necial to Nipissing

New Words! New Words! The OED's quarterly update is up. You can now officially use: 800 number, anime, first person, incentivize, ish, JPEG, Klingon, Kwanzaa and xeriscape, plus a whole mess of words between "necial to Nipissing."
posted by jengod on Sep 11, 2003 - 31 comments

You will learn something, I guarontee!

The Encyclopedia of Cajun Culture features everything from Acadiana to Zydeco. Two of the more interesting entries I've found are the Un-Cajun Committee and the unknown to me genre of Swamp Pop
posted by Ufez Jones on Sep 4, 2003 - 15 comments

Lost Words

The Compendium of Lost Words
posted by ttrendel on Sep 3, 2003 - 9 comments

The Devil's Dictionary 2.0

The Devil's Dictionary 2.0 — Bitter Bierce, beware. For reference, review release 1.0.
posted by pedantic on Aug 25, 2003 - 10 comments

Compendium of lost words

Compendium of lost words You may have been wondering what "triclavianism" means. You may have been disappointed when dictionary.com couldn't help. Look no further.
posted by adamrice on Aug 16, 2003 - 19 comments

filter (n.) - c.1400, from M.L. filtrum

The Online Etymology Dictionary. I'll be spending most of my day here.
posted by Ufez Jones on Jul 18, 2003 - 18 comments

Separated By A Common Language And All That Jazz

Do Most Of You Yanks Really Understand What The Brits Here Are On About? Although the cultural mistranslations are probably more a question of tone and habits of irony and understatement, Jeremy Smith's online American·British British·American Dictionary, to be published next September, might be of some assistance. Although I still prefer Terry Gliedt's older but pithier United Kingdom English For The American Novice and even Scotsman Chris Rae's English-to-American Dictionary. Here's a little BBC quiz to test your skills. It seems that Canadians, Australians and [another cute quiz coming up!] New Zealanders are the only Metafilterians to completely capture all the varieties of English usage here. Perhaps it all comes down to the fact that non-U.S. users know much, much less about England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand et caetera than vice-versa? Does anyone else get the occasional feeling we're not exactly speaking the same language here?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 5, 2003 - 66 comments

vatican lexicon

The Vatican's publishing a new 900-page dictionary of "Ambiguous and Colloquial Terms about Family Life and Ethical Questions," such as "reproductive health" and "conjugal love." Some groups are looking forward to the tome...I personally would like to look up "pedophilia" in it.
posted by serafinapekkala on Apr 1, 2003 - 18 comments

New OED Words

Dungeons and Dragons, bigorexia, arse-licker, bass-ackward... The online OED (Oxford English Dictionary) quarterly adds a host of new words to the canon of what has become the standard dictionary of the english language(s). Some of the new and spicey words are: arsehole, arseholed, arse-lick,arse-licker, ass-backward, ass-backwards, bass-ackward, bass-ackwards, dragon lady, Dungeons and Dragons, telenovela, and transgenderist!! Thank the gods of language for these new words! So what is you favorite new word and why?
posted by mfoight on Mar 17, 2003 - 26 comments

Maybe you're travelling to Nunavut, maybe you've just seen Atanarjuat, but for whatever reason, you're keen to learn some Inuktitut. Where to begin? Take a course if one is available in your area. Listen to some words and phrases. But unless you're heading to a region (PDF map) where the Inuinnaqtun dialect is spoken (it uses the Roman alphabet), you're going to need to use Inuktitut's syllabics. Download some fonts (another source, and another) -- you'll need them for many sites, including this Inuktitut language reader. Or try out this handy converter. Finally, the Living Dictionary is the definitive reference to this language.
posted by mcwetboy on Nov 5, 2002 - 9 comments

One of the better online dictionaries for technology-related material that I've seen. And it's free! What's better than free? Nuthin. The title is a bit misleading as it's not as comprehensive as a traditional encyclopedia, but it's helped me every time I've needed it.
posted by archimago on Oct 22, 2002 - 12 comments

Worthless Word for the Day.

Worthless Word for the Day. Ever feel as if an "obscure, abstruse and/or recondite word" was forced into a newspaper/magazine/quote? Now there's a site that finally finds and provides wwftd! Impress your friends.
posted by geoff. on Oct 21, 2002 - 13 comments

Imagine my glee in finding Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable online and searchable. Then, imagine my glee in finding out that Tom and Jerry have a non-animated past. AND they're a drink. AND they're a play!
They (the originals, that is) used to be wildly popular. Now they're all but forgotten, except in cat / mouse form. What wildly popular "works" will our great grandchildren forget completely? (I had to wash my cache out with soap after that last one)
posted by condour75 on Oct 17, 2002 - 11 comments

Taticular Nucyoular Weapons

Taticular Nucyoular Weapons Dubya mispronounced the word "nuclear" "\nu"cle*ar\" in his speech 17 times this evening (take your own tally here). Wait. That's not a simple mispronunciation. It's a "folk etymology." Thanks, Ike. (Thanks, Homer.) Thanks also to Merriam-Webster. Apparently, this scourge of English is in the dictionary.
posted by NedKoppel on Oct 7, 2002 - 105 comments

Jedi (n) and Klingon (n)

Jedi (n) and Klingon (n) will now be listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. As will Ass-Backward. Given MetaFilter's interest in grammar this seems worth noting. How the editors decided that "Jedi" is worth inclusion but "Stormtrooper" is not is a conversation I would have loved to have heard. Naturally, people complaining about such inclusions ain't new. However, when words are removed from the same dictionary it's hardly noticed. Clearly unused words go away, so why do people make a stink about this year after year? Slow news cycles? Or is it an extension of the Prescriptivist - Descriptivist Argument with the Prescripts making a push for the "hearts and minds" of the public?
posted by herc on Sep 26, 2002 - 35 comments

It's The Way You Quote Them:

It's The Way You Quote Them: Frosties is a cracking new collection of quotations from Ariga, expertly and eccentrically selected by one I.Frost, who defines himself as "friend, philosopher and jurist" . Unlike many online dictionaries, it includes generous helpings from its chosen authors; proper references; unexpected quotations (rather than the same old chestnuts) and, above all, personality. Bravo!
posted by MiguelCardoso on Sep 18, 2002 - 25 comments

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