The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English

Front Cover
McGraw Hill Professional, Jun 14, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 288 pages
  • The words come from different countries where English is spoken, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, South Africa, and others
  • The author's website has received more than 1.2 million hits since its launch in 2004, and he is frequently interviewed about language in publications such as the New York Times

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book of unusual words

User Review  - mchlanda -

This book contains some very unusual words. Many Ive never heard of. Worth looking into to see how the language has changed. Read full review

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Page 41 - ... abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.
Page 157 - We were pretty much told that they were nobodies, that they were just enemy combatants,
Page 110 - ... that the grass of which such rings are formed is always the first to vegetate in the spring, and keeps the lead of the ordinary grass of the pastures till the period of cutting. If the grass of these fairy-rings be examined in the spring and early summer, it will be found to conceal a number of agarics or "toad-stools
Page 177 - Times had a throbbing story told by some traveler who had shot big game in India or penetrated the frozen north, or visited the interior of Tibet, or observed the habits of the kangaroo in Australia. The visitor who told the wondrous...
Page 21 - The Big Apple, the dream of every lad that ever threw a leg over a thoroughbred and the goal of all horsemen. There's only one Big Apple. That's New York.
Page 22 - So many people have asked the writer about the derivation of his phrase, "the Big Apple," that he is forced to make another explanation. New Orleans has called it to his mind again. A number of years back, when racing a few horses at the Fair Grounds with Jake Byer, he was watching a couple of stable hands cool out a pair of "hots" in a circle outside the stable. A boy from an adjoining barn called over, "Where you shipping after the meeting?
Page 36 - boots on the ground" helps assure their future military and political cooperation while increasing United States influence worldwide. However, in the tumultuous world political arena, there will continue to be a competition of interests, and there will continue to be those whose interests conflict with ours. Those who wish to threaten the US will do so in the way that most favors their success. History shows that we build military...
Page 102 - ... and since these fires are often started by lightning the migration of trees into grassland areas, even before the advent of man, must have been accomplished with great difficulty. On this account the prairie grasses were able to occupy a great deal of land in regions where the moisture " Shantz, HL A Study of the Vegetation of the Mesa Region East of Pikes Peak: The Bouteloua Formation. Botanical Gazette, 1906, vol. 42, pp. 16-47 and 179-207. conditions were favorable to tree growth. While limited...
Page 252 - Fanger (1987) defined the olf (abbreviation for olfaction unit) as the emission rate of bioeffluents from a standard sedentary person in thermal comfort.

About the author (2010)

Grant Barrett is a lexicographer and project editor for the Historical Dictionary of American Slang for Oxford University Press. He is the founder and editor of the Double-Tongued Word Wrester Dictionary (, a popular website that tracks new words from the fringes of English.

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