Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words Expanded Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1559722339
ISBN-10: 1559722339
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
More Buying Choices
3 New from $81.28 30 Used from $2.65
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

First it must be known that all 6000 weird words lovingly compiled by Mrs. Byrne are "real" English words, legitimized by at least one major dictionary. That said, the inclusions are delightfully ludicrous, unfailingly obscure and often sadly missing from common parlance. The English language seems the poorer without "furfuraceous" (covered with dandruff), "omphaloskepsis" (meditation while gazing at one's navel) or "blabagogy" (a criminal environment). It's the most addictively interesting dictionary imaginable. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Carol Publishing; Expanded edition (January 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559722339
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559722339
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #950,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This informative, well-researched, very interesting, unique reference presents the meaning of 6000 of the most outlandish, eccentric, and strange legitimate words that are part of our English language. Each word's definition is clearly and fully explained, complete with its pronunciation and sometimes even a reference to its language of origin.
This comprehensive volume is a wonderful resource for trivia enthusiasts and people who just love words, language and slang, and it's perfect for offhanded browsing.
So, if you want to know if you've ever jargogled, marmarized or edulcolated anything, if anyone you know is psittaceous, valgus or a gobemouche, or what a diplasiasmus, a krobylos or lares and penates are, then this is the book for you.
Although most of the words contained in this volume are not fit for use in everyday conversations, this is still a fun way to discover new words with precise, astonishing and even outrageous meanings.
Overall, this book is a delightful, entertaining source of curious words and intriguing terms just waiting to be found.
--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar
Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on January 11, 1997
Format: Paperback
My copy of Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary is, by far, the most dilapidated, dog-eared, written-upon and coffee-stained book now in my possession.

It is not because I hate the book that I have so thoroughly destroyed it. It is, rather, the fact that I refer to it all the time, and take copious notes -- which wind up all over its pages.

If you love words, this is the book I would recommend. You will find an inexhaustible supply of some of the most arcane and ludibund words in our language within these pages.

A great gift for the rantallion in us all!

Dave Beckwith

Founder/President

Charlotte Internet Society
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I was given an earlier printing of this book when I first learned to read, and I think it has something to do with my childhood nickname of "Dictionary Breath." It has remained among my most treasured possessions!

While some of the words don't really seem to merit an entry in this book over its a delightful collection. There are some words such as "grassation" (to lie in wait to attack) which are so incredibly useful I don't know why they aren't in more common circulation.

I would like to see the etymology included, but speculating about a word's etymology and then looking it up elsewhere has become part of the game for me and my friends.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
A wonderful resource for logophiles who have already searched through a standard unabridged dictionary. If you love words, you will love this book.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I bought this for my son when he was 10. He wore it to tatters, so I am here on Amazon to replace it for him. He's now 15, and has been bemoaning it's loss for about a year. He used to carry this around and use it as an ice breaker, and other kids his age thought it was really cool. He's gone on to Shakespeare, Plato, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Keys to the Kingdom etc.but Mrs. Byrnes remains his all time favorite book.

Dictionaries are rarely considered pleasure reading, but this one definately fits that bill. An advantage for a young reader is that they can get a lot of knowledge without reading a lot. Yup - Intellectual fast food. Could be addictive.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Etymology is a guilty pleasure of mine-- and this book is the guiltiest of them all! Deliciously obscure words all at my fingertips...what more could i ask for. This copy was hard to come by... i think it's out of print now and so if you happen to see a used copy somewhere, no matter how dog-earred, grab it! You won't be disappointed. It's a gem.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Unknown Binding
Whether you are a sectary compiler of sesquipedelian logisms or simply wish to eschew obfuscation, here is an entertaining collection of words of the English language you are unlikely to find anywhere else, from aasvogel to zzxjoanw. My only misgiving is that the etymologies are not included, though some of the definitions state the source of the word if it is sufficiently unfamiliar. Linguists and wordsmiths will delight in this collection.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Absolutely magnificent listing of wonderful words! While one could probably find the majority of words with their definitions in a large dictionary, having them grouped in a single volume is most satisfactory. Whether you consider yourself a wordsmith or whether you simply enjoy learning about words you had not known existed, you're sure to find something to please you in this book. Highly recommend it to anyone who loves words.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: italian language, hindi dictionary, swedish dictionary, vocabulary in use, feminist books