Saturday, March 5, 2011

Good cheap paperback dictionary

I saw this question over on reddit:
My 1975 American Heritage dictionary has served me well (particularly during this Pynchon reading phase!), but lately it's been dutifully disintegrating. I've been looking to buy a new one and would like a couple of opinions.
What's your favorite English dictionary that is reasonably cheap and portable?

I really like my Oxford Mini Dictionary and Thesaurus ($8.95 over at amazon). It's small but pretty thick so it won't fit in your pocket, but it's good to carry around in your bag.

Speaking of dictionaries, do you remember the film Say Anything... (John Cusack and the radio) well the valedictorian Diane had a dictionary in her room and would highlight every word she looked up and I think that's a fabulous idea! So when I remember, I try to highlight stuff I looked up (I usually don't remember).

Just wanted to share...


  1. Here's a piece of dictionary trivia for you: The 2nd edition of the Oxford Unabridged Dictionary was the last edition with definitions based on past editions and the actual history of the word inquestion. After the second edition, the Oxford started using the most popular usage of a word as the main definition.

    Here's another:The Oxford English Dictionary has long been considered the ultimate reference work in English lexicography, originally compiled by the legendary editor James Murray and a staff of brilliant philologists (JRR Tolkein was a contributor) and lexicographers, not to mention one homicidal maniac, Dr. CW Minor.

    And here's a related quote: "It is a brave and foolhardy and desperate man who will perform an autopeotomy." ;o)


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