Some of the Most Obsessive and Exotic Dictionaries You Can Find Online
The strangest online dictionaries and encyclopedias for eccentric lovers of data (and procrastination).
The zeal to compile dictionaries, almanacs and encyclopedias —one of the driving engines of the encyclopedic movement— responds to a clear ambition: the will to condense human knowledge ––to know it all.
In an era like our own, in which we know much more than we can make use of (but which does not stop us from compiling), the list below is a bucket of candy. Or, in any case, a sweet procrastination pool for those of us who love all kind of dictionaries and, hence, the eccentricity of data.
OneLook: a dictionary of dictionaries.
Shakespearewords: A dictionary of terms and phrases used in the works of William Shakespeare.
UniHD: A dictionary of conceptual schemes in Chinese.
Hymnology: A dictionary of hymns.
Wordsmith: A dictionary of anagrams.
Visual Dictionary: A dictionary which defines words with images.
Mahajana: Chinese Buddhist terms.
Greek Mythology: A list of characters from Greek mythology.
Other Wordly: A dictionary of endemic concept-words in different languages.
Emily Dickinson Lexicon: A dictionary of alphabetized headword entries for all of the words in Emily Dickinson’s collected poems.
Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows: A compendium of words invented by John Koenig where each definition aims to fill a hole in language.
Alchemy Lab: A dictionary of elements and alchemical terms.
Urban Dictionary: A dictionary of slang and everyday phrases.
When ancient rituals became religion
The emergence of religions irreversibly changed the history of humanity. It’s therefore essential to ask when and how did ancient peoples’ rituals become organized systems of thought, each with their
Seven ancient maps of the Americas
A map is not the territory. —Alfred Korzybski Maps are never merely maps. They’re human projections, metaphors in which we find both the geographical and the imaginary. The cases of ghost islands
An artist crochets a perfect skeleton and internal organs
Shanell Papp is a skilled textile and crochet artist. She spent four long months crocheting a life-size skeleton in wool. She then filled it in with the organs of the human body in an act as patient
A musical tribute to maps
A sequence of sounds, rhythms, melodies and silences: music is a most primitive art, the most essential, and the most powerful of all languages. Its capacity is not limited to the (hardly trivial)
The enchantment of 17th-century optics
The sense of sight is perhaps one the imagination’s most prolific masters. That is why humankind has been fascinated and bewitched by optics and their possibilities for centuries. Like the heart, the
Would you found your own micro-nation? These eccentric examples show how easy it can be
Founding a country is, in some ways, a simple task. It is enough to manifest its existence and the motives for creating a new political entity. At least that is what has been demonstrated by the
Wondrous crossings: the galaxy caves of New Zealand
Often, the most extraordinary phenomena are “jealous of themselves” ––and they happen where the human eye cannot enjoy them. However, they can be discovered, and when we do find them we experience a
Think you have strange reading habits? Wait until you've seen how Mcluhan reads
We often forget or neglect to think about the infinite circumstances that are condensed in the acts that we consider habitual. Using a fork to eat, for example, or walking down the street and being
The sky is calling us, a love letter to the cosmos (video)
We once dreamt of open sails and Open seas We once dreamt of new frontiers and New lands Are we still a brave people? We must not forget that the very stars we see nowadays are the same stars and
The sister you always wanted (but made into a crystal chandelier)
Lucas Maassen always wanted to have a sister. And after 36 years he finally procured one, except, as strange as it may sound, in the shape of a chandelier. Maassen, a Dutch designer, asked the