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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.

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