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The Bibliophile's Dictionary

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The Bibliophile's Dictionary

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The Bibliophile's Dictionary
2,054 Masterful Words and Phrases
By Miles Westley
Writer's Digest Books, 2005
ISBN: 1-58297-356-3

Reviewed by Simone Bonim - Posted November 30, 2012

Whether you are a writer, reader, or simply a lexicon junkie, you will love The Bibliophile's Dictionary, by Miles Westley. This delightful, and unique dictionary contains 2,054 words organized into thematic categories. There are fifteen main categories ranging from Household Objects to Religion, Myths and Mysticism. Many of the main categories are further divided into subcategories. For example The Lowly and Corrupt category is further divided into subcategories titled: Lustful, The Mob, Drunk and Gorged, Cowards and Moral Weaklings, Lazy Slobs, Nasty Abusive Types, Clowns and Dandies, Sinners and Evildoers, Evil Acts and Intentions, and Devices of Punishment.

Each entry in this dictionary includes a pronunciation guide, a notion of the part of speech the word belongs to, followed by a short definition. In many cases, quotes from literary works are included that show the given word in use. For example, in the Emotions category, under the subcategory Passionate, Aroused, you'll find the following entry:
paroxysm (PAR ahk SI zem) - n. a sudden emotional outburst, 2. a convulsion, spasm or fit.
The Bibliophile's Dictionary serves both as a dictionary and as a limited thesaurus. It is also an ideal book just to read through, either from beginning to end, or simply to pick it up and randomly read through the text, looking for neologisms as you wander this lexical garden. An alphabetical index of all the terms defined in this book is included. In additional whimsical illustrations are provided throughout.

Without a doubt, The Bibliophile's Dictionary is a fun book to read. It also serves as an excellent reference book for writer's who want to increase their vocabulary or who are looking for just the right word. From la mode to Zoysia and everything in between from Solecism and Cavil to Priapic to Gorse, you are bound to find a plethora of words to spice up your own vocabulary as well as that of your characters.

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