Burgess Unabridged: A Classic Dictionary of Words You Have Always Needed

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing USA, May 26, 2009 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 144 pages
The classic dictionary of invented words, coined by one of America's comic geniuses-the perfect book for language lovers everywhere.

Gelett Burgess has been a revered figure over generations for anyone who loves wordplay. Probably best known today as the creator of the Goops and the famous Purple Cow verse, he was also the author of many books and a brilliant, iconoclastic American humorist who, when at a loss for words, made them up.

Burgess Unabridged is the splendidly entertaining dictionary of linguistic inventions that Burgess originally published in 1914. Some of his coinages have since become playful parts of our language ("blurb," for one) while others were never picked up (such as "huzzlecoo"); but every one of them is as fresh, entertaining, and-yes-useful as when it first appeared. Reading Burgess is sheer delight: in addition to detailed definitions, he provides scintillating brief essays outlining the various usages of each word, and a clever eight-line poem displaying that word in action. Thus, every page brings entertainment and education in equal measure.

This new edition offers the pleasures of the original typography and design along with the delightful artwork of Herb Roth, illuminating many of Burgess's creations. Like Ambrose Bierce's and Mark Twain's, Gelett Burgess's humor and mastery of the English language are timeless.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Gelett Burgess was the author of some forty-four books, and died in 1951 at the age of eighty-five. Paul Dickson is the author of Slang: The Topical Dictionary of Americanisms, among many language books. He lives in Garrett Park, Maryland.

Bibliographic information