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Droll Dictionaries

Updated on January 12, 2013

Welcome to Droll Dictionaries

To most folks, dictionaries are barely browsed books used to cover wearisome walls or as a dandy device to prop open a dang-nabbed door.

To wordpeckers and wordsmiths, dictionaries are time-tested tools designed to keep them on the straight and narrow path of accepted word usage, a ripsnorting resource for all manner of word games, and as a marvellous way to nourish the odd brain fart or two!

To professors, preteens, and politicians, dictionaries are vital to splitting hairs, winning spelling bees, not to mention duelling with dubious debaters.

And to leisure-conscious lollygaggers with a whole lot of time on their hands to let their fingers flip non-chalantly if not randomly through the pages of a dictionary to find funny words, come up up with new meanings for old or obscure words, and even invent brand-new words and expressions just for the heck of it -- dictionaries are droll indeed.

WACKY WORD OF THE MONTH POLL - It's amazing what a little "quantitative easing" and "stimulus package" can do for a constipated constitution or is it institutio


For a more detailed description of funny fetlocks and ripsnorting riders, please see this lively and light-hearted lens Eccentric Equestrians.

What is a horse buss?

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Droll Dictionary Pick of the Season

Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors
Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors

This is an indispensable companion for all who care enough about the English language not to mangle, maul, or misuse it.


Wordbirds - Have you had enough of the "12 Days of Christmas" to last a lifetime? - Maybe a pear tree in a partridge will brighten your day!



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Entertaining excerpt from "My First Dictionary"


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When you're tired of twiddling your thumbs, wiggling your ears, and tapping your feet while waiting for Godot to show up to tell you what do, or baby Buddha to teach you all about the meaning of life, do something worthwhile -- consult this unusual online dictionary to pass the time of day!

If something was misspelled in the dictionary, he wondered how he would know?

If something was misspelled in the dictionary, he wondered how he would know?
If something was misspelled in the dictionary, he wondered how he would know?


Each year when the gala gift-giving season rolls around, it's difficult to decide what to get a high-muck-a-muck who has everything or the supremely snooty so-and-so.

Well fear not, the Goddess of Great Gifts has the answer. Why not make an investment in a tiny tome called the, Wine Snob's Dictionary. It will satisfy that ripsnorting receiver's thirst for wicked wine terms that will tickle them pink while you practice the amusing art of cork-sniffing.

"Lexicographer". A writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge.

(Samuel Johnson, 1709-84).

Call me the "Diva of Dust Kitties" honeybun!

According to the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE), which is published in many volumes with more than a thousand pages devoted to delightful words, there are more than 176 names for "dust balls under the bed". They include: detritus, down under the bed, dust balls, dust bunnies, dust curl, dust kittens, dust kitties, dust mice, elephants under the bed, fiber, floss, flue, fluff, fur, furball, fuzz, fuzzball, ghost turds, house moss, lanugo, lint, nap, pile, thistledown and woolies among others.

Where the devil do I begin?

"The Devil's Dictionary was begun in a weekly paper in 1881, and was continued in a desultory way and at long intervals until 1906. In that year a large part of it was published in covers with the title The Cynic's Word Book, a name which the author had not the power to reject nor the happiness to approve."

"Dictionary, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. The present dictionary, however, is one of the most useful works that its author, Dr. John Satan, has ever produced. It is designed to be a compendium of everything that is known up to date of its completion, and will drive a screw, repair a red wagon or apply for a divorce. It is a good substitute for measles, and will make rats come out of their holes to die. It is a dead shot for worms, and children cry for it."

-- Excerpts from "The Devil's Dictionary" by Ambrose Bierce.


Jest-in-time folks will never be at a loss for words if they consult this cockamammie collection of comical catchphrases -- Joke Dictionary!


The world of wit and wonk owes a debt of gratitude to these organizations:

The Apostrophe Protection Society - dedicated to preserving the correct use of this abused if not much maligned punctuation mark in the English language (which is as good as any other reason for being).

In addition to addressing the burning issues of galoping irony and post-modernist disillusionment, members of the International Institute of Jaded Hipsters have also expressed an interest in preserving punctuation marks and enigmatic emoticons to reduce the level of fog in society. Yippy!

The International Society of Photographic Jargon, (the folks behind the foreign language translations of digital camera operating manuals), are keen on retaining commas and periods in their technical bulletins. Regrettably, they recently eliminated the use of question marks as this lowered consumer confidence in their products.

The American Hyphen Society is a community-based, not-for-profit, grass-roots conciousness-raising/education-research alliance that seeks to help effectuate the across-the-board self-empowerment of wide-ranging culture-, nationality-, ethnicity-, creed-, gender-, and sexual-orientation defined identity groups by excising all multiculturally-less-than-sensitive terminology from the English language, and replacing it with counter-hegemonic, cruelty-, gender-, bias-, and, if necessary, content-free speech. Do you think that they know about the Fathers Against Rude Television (FART) or the Society of Nice Ordinary Terrestrials (SNOT)?

Punctuation professionals are pretty pinheaded if not a tad picayune when it comes to letting the rest of the world know the right way to do something. However, they haven't been able to cooperate long enough to form an "association", although some have managed to put pen to paper to let us all know about the pronunciation of punctuation in Unix. Oh what a relief!

And, last but not least, The Red Hats Society (for feisty felines over fifty) really don't give a flying fig leaf about punctuation marks because they're far too interested in going for the gusto!


If you're going abroad on business, or to give a long-winded lecture to a gathering of cranky curmudgeons on the latest advances in melanin impoverished alternative body image makeovers, you probably won't find the following book engaging or for that matter enlightening.

On the other hand, if you're taking a trip around the world in 80 days to have a bit of fun while also stopping off to see your incontinent inlaws and their pesky pet rock, you may find the phrases in this book handy.

The tiny tome one should never leave home without is The Insult Dictionary - How to Give'em Hell in Five Nasty Languages.

Under the category of "short all-purpose insults", one finds several that may come in handy one day:

Blundering Idiot: Stupider Holzkopf (German), Balourd (French), Cretino confusionario (Italian), and Papanatas (Spanish).

Pig-headed: Dickkopfig (German), Tete de mule (French), Testardo (Italian), and Fantoche (Spanish).

Scatterbrain; Dolmer (German), Ecervele (French), Scervellato (Italian), and Memo (Spanish)

And if these few words don't fit the bill, then better pick up The Lover's Dictionary where you'll find all the playmates you want to engage them and disengage them with the right words in the right language. All you have to do is find the right time to let them flow from your lips charming little cherub ...or is it you chinless wonder!


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If engineers rule the world, does that mean chemists have a sense of humor?

Believe it or not, there is one British beaker-man who spends all his time collecting molecules with ridiculous, silly, or sometimes rather unusual names.

The University of the Bleeding Obvious" is "the" place to go if you've always wanted to learn more about "Death by Pastry", "Extreme Dinosaurs" or "Typists of the Kalahari".

The Creative Loafing Institute offers a wide range of activities for those who love doing zero, zip, or zilch it twiddling one's thumbs, waiting for Godot, or simply watching grass grow.

University of Useless Knowledge is an excellent resource for those wishing to pursue pointless projects and questionable quests for higher learning.

And last but not least, there is one fellow who is worth tapping into, Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D., Professor of Piffle at the University of Utterly Useless Undertakings in Little Snoring (Suffolk), and Dean of Do-Nothing at the International Institute of Irregular Verbs & Dangling Modifiers in Yonder Bognie.


Image Credit: - image 014

Long Lost Insults: Forgotten English III, Knowledge Cards™
Long Lost Insults: Forgotten English III, Knowledge Cards™

Comes in handy for mirthless meetings, dead-pan dinner parties, and way-too-long weddings.

Intoxicants & Potions: Forgotten English II Knowledge Cards™
Intoxicants & Potions: Forgotten English II Knowledge Cards™

For those who think that wonderful words from way back when easily trumps the withering words we have now.

Forgotten English, Volume I Knowledge Cards™
Forgotten English, Volume I Knowledge Cards™

Simply a great gift for those with incredibly short attention spans!

Jeffrey Kacirk's Forgotten English 366-Day 2012 Calendar
Jeffrey Kacirk's Forgotten English 366-Day 2012 Calendar

The perfect present for wordpeckers or wordsmiths!



Dictionaries are useful especially when you don't know how to pronounce long words (and there are more than a few in the English language), can't spell them worth a bean, and haven't got a clue what they mean.

Twentieth century American author Ambrose Bierce had this to say about this trivial-pursuit tome in his celebrated yet irreverent word book of cynical and sardonic wit, The Devil's Dictionary.

"Dictionary, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. The present dictionary, however, is one of the most useful works that its author, Dr. John Satan, has ever produced. It is designed to be a compendium of everything that is known up to date of its completion, and will drive a screw, repair a red wagon or apply for a divorce. It is a good substitute for measles, and will make rats come out of their holes to die. It is a dead shot for worms, and children cry for it."

Former American football coach Vince Lombardi had a limited use for this big book:

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary."

Mae West, a renowned burlesque queen, after having an inflatable life-preserver named after her is reported to have said:

"I've been in 'Who's Who', and I know what's what, but it'll be the first time I ever made the dictionary."

A quaint quotation about the proper use of a dictionary may be attributed to 19th century English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

"At painful times when composition is impossible and reading is not enough, grammar and dictionaries are excellent for distraction."

Samuel Johnson, 18th century English author best known for his work A Dictionary of the English Language had this to say about this lexicon for literate folks:

"Dictionaries are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to be quite true."

And lastly, John Ralston Saul, a Canadian author with a sharp sense of humor, particularly his witty work entitled, The Doubter's companion - A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense provided a brief yet biting definition of this ten lettered, three syllabled word:

"Dictionary - Opinion presented as truth in alphabetical order."

I misplaced my dictionary. Now I'm at a loss for words!


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      At last, I finally found this site! I love delving for the hardest vocabularies! I fancy them! I like this!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I'm speechless! Speechless that is save for bestowing Angel Blessings and I shall go straight to feature this lens on my lens Good Lenses Deserve Angel Blessings

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Sometime you might check into June Bletzer's "Encyclopedic Psychic Dictionary." 875 pages of esoteric definitions.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Nicely done; blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Yes! I really agree with your lens, because I have seen droll dictionaries are really great information and index also very easy to find relevant words.

      Please visit my divorce lawyers

    • funwithtrains lm profile image

      funwithtrains lm 

      10 years ago

      Nice lens! Please visit my Marklin Trains lens.

    • Allison Whitehead profile image

      Allison Whitehead 

      10 years ago

      Really enjoyed this - great lens. And welcome to my group! Allison

    • Janet2221 profile image


      11 years ago

      Fun lens! Welcome to the Novelty Gifts group. :)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Excellent lens!

      There are so much information here to keep me busy for months.


    • k8company profile image


      11 years ago

      Well! I can see there is a wealth of word lovers on Squidoo! I feel all warm and fuzzy. So how do I become a member of the American Hyphen Society? And is there a Comma Coagulation that you know of? Sign me up!

    • Casey van B profile image

      Casey van B 

      11 years ago

      Well, I've definitely favorited it for later lensrollization and 5d it for the sheer joy of doing so. Come visit my WIP (different yet similar yet not at all the same) and let's add to the lensitorium.

      See ya there!

    • mythphile profile image

      Ellen Brundige 

      11 years ago from California

      Good grief, lots of people lensroll this, but no one ever replies! Delightful page. I've added it to my Care and Feeding of Apostrophes page's lensroll. :)


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