Dictionaries, Glossaries, and Thesauri–All for your pleasure!

OneLook Dictionary Search

Absolutely amazing how many dictionaries there are–way too many to search every one separately to find that single, perfect word. But what if…what if, you could search just one dictionary, or rather one source, that, in turn, scoured a multitude of other dictionaries? A Google’s worth of dictionaries, if you will. Well, there is such a beast with OneLook. Check it out, and take a gander at all the other dictionaries that it taps into. You’re gonna love this resource.


The original open-source bestiary!


the RacialSlur Database
Helping make the world a better place.
Slur count: More than 2,649


Have a story with a racist element or character(s), and don’t know which slurs to use? If so, do not worry, and don’t be concerned about having to go about the embarrassing task of asking friends, family, or neighbors–who just might get the wrong idea. Instead, hit the RacialSlur Database–and you’ll find all you need and more.


Twists, Slug and Roscoes: A Glossary of Hardboiled Slang

“I knew I was in trouble when the dame dropped in and slapped a c-note on my table. And I thought I was going to have the day off.”

Okay, fellow writers–your protagonist, Richard Shank, P.I. has a case to solve, but first he needs to know some of the lingo to help him maneuver around the dirty streets. Not a problem. Though not a comprehensive list, this glossary will get you well on your way.


The Language of Love, Lust, Sex
and All the Many-Splendored Things in Between in Teenspeak – Jockspeak – Menglish – Slanglish – Spanglish Gaylese – Americanese – Britspeak – Ozslang – Funetic Populo-Vulgar Speech – T-Shirt & Net Shorthand Pompo-Verbosity & other Figurative Lingos


Yes, a very blue, incredibly X-rated site–but a needed resource, perhaps. Especially if you’re writing a work akin to Nicholas Cage’s “8MM” or any kind of story dealing with various elements of the “street.” And if you are penning such a work, or need to find that just-right British turn-of-phrase, then this site will take care of those needs. (Psst! Just don’t have any kids looking over your shoulder.)

Are you writing a piece of historical fiction…say something set during medieval times? Then check out the following resources. Perhaps they’ll be useful.


Feudal Terms of England (and other places)

A straightforward, fairly short-list of terms-of-the-period–but good to have.


The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies

A fantastic collection of all sorts of period-related resources. Give it a peek, and don’t forget to bookmark.


Glossary of Saxon and Feudal Terms


History glossaries and history dictionaries


WOW! What a site–and what a treasure house of info…a collection of glossaries such as:
1) Museum of Classical Archaeology Glossary
The Who, What, When, Where, sometimes How and occasionally Why of Classical Myths and History.

2) Biblical Archaeology Glossary
A glossary containing more detail than simple definitions of words and phrases in Biblical archaeology and related disciplines.

3) Re-enacting Glossary
A tongue-in-cheek glossary of terms.

4) Roman Army Glossary
Glossary of Greek and Latin terms used in connection with the Roman Army.

5) Popular Archaeology–Glossary of Roman Terms
Glossary of terms used in the archeological study of Roman ruins in Britain.

6) Glossary of Terms used in past times in England
From assarts through heriots, messuages and tofts to virgates, etc., this is what they mean.

10) Knighthood, Chivalry & Tournament Glossary of Terms

… and more, more, more.


Are you writing the next “The DaVinci Code.” If so, you are in for a lot of research. However, to at least give you a jump-start. Check out the following:

Index Page for Irving Hexham’s Concise Dictionary of Religion


How about a collection of trivia…a dictionary of superstition, perhaps?
Try “A Dictionary of Superstitions and Mythology by Biren Bonnerjea, D. Litt. (Paris) [Virendra Vandyopadhyaya]” at: http://www.esnips.com/doc/5e12af2f-5f5c-4aa2-86f5-dab6257d6331/DICT…


War stories are great…at least a lot better to read about than to participate in. But what about getting the language down? Take Vietnam, for example. You’ve got a plot of sorts, but the lingo’s missing. Perhaps this resource will help.

Glossary of some of the words used during the Vietnam War (including photographs)


Ready to take on Louis L’Amour? Yeah, me neither. Still, if you’ve got an Old Western yarn ready to go, you’ll be a lot farther along if you’ve got some jargon to lend a hand.

Western Slang & Phrases
A Writer’s Guide to the Old West 1860s-1880s
A small compilation drawn from period newspapers, books, and memoirs


Think you know slang? Think again. There’s slang, and there’s slang, and there’s slang, and there’s slanguage.

Let’s take a look at just American slang. Look at the following categories:

American Slang

American-Australian Slang Dictionary – “I collected this lexicon to preserve some of the creative, interesting, or less-well-known words and phrases I encountered in North America. I made the lexicon public because I thought it might amuse others as much as it amused me to compile it. It is intended for fluent speakers of Australian slang, although the frequency of e-mail from American addresses suggests it is diverting for Americans too.”

American-British / British-American Dictionary – A dictionary purporting to define American in terms of British, and vice versa. It also includes a number of articles outlining reasons for, and instances of, differences between American and British English.

AmeriSpeak – User-generated compilation of the words and sayings of one’s ancestors, grouped into categories.

Bay Area Hip Hop Dictionary – Hip hop dialect from San Francisco.

BuzzWhack – Dictionary of business buzzwords and slang.

Commonly-Used American Slang – Short listing of American slang expressions.

Historical Dictionary of American Slang – Contains over 2200 slang words with the centuries in which they were first printed.

Native American Slang – “In my drive to document Indian pop culture and create more authentic stories, I searched for a source of Indian slang. Since I didn’t find one, I asked people for their suggestions. Here’s what they said.”

The Online Slang Dictionary – Though Webster publishes a slang dictionary, it could potentially take years for a new word or phrase to enter its pages. Now, with the power of the Internet, it can be in a dictionary in a matter of hours; this page depends entirely on your contributions. This is designed to be a global dictionary: English slang from other countries is more than welcome.

A Prisoner’s Dictionary – This dictionary contains words dealing with sex or violence, matters that are part of prison culture. Many of the terms relate to specific California procedures — such as “602s.” However, this list has grown to contain words and phrases from prisons in various states. Where known, these are identified in parenthesis. Spanish words similarly are identifed as “Sp.”

PseudoDictionary.com – User-submitted slang and expressions.

The Rap Dictionary – The Rap Dictionary is the oldest and ultimate resource for looking up hip-hop slang.

SlangSite.com – A dictionary of slang, webspeak, made up words, and colloquialisms.

Street Drug Slang Dictionary – The Indiana Prevention Resource Center on-line dictionary contains more than 3,800 street drug slang terms from the Indiana Prevention Resource Center files, with more than 1,200 additions from the National Drug and Crime Clearinghouse slang term list.

Twists, Slugs and Roscoes: A Glossary of Hardboiled Slang – Dictionary of 1940’s slang of the streets, especially as used in detective fiction and film-noir.

Urban Dictionary – Urban Dictionary is a slang dictionary with your definitions. Define your world.

Vox Dictionary of American Slang – This is a dictionary of contemporary slang compiled in Oakland, California since 1994. Most of this slang is used by the Hip-Hop generation all over the world.

Now, imagine having access to all of the above, but also to Foreign Slang Dictionaries: Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, English, General English, (American–like those listed above), Australian and New Zealand, United Kingdom, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish.

Well, then…you’ve hit the jackpot.

Check out the motherload of jargon/slang sites right here.


You have a tale involving drug addicts. The problem? The characters know a lot more about drugs and their terms and associated terminology than you, the writer. A resource that will at least jump-start your way a tad closer to verisimilitude can be found at:http://www.passyourdrugtest.com/drugdictionary.html


Need more slang? You got it. A ton of specialized slanguage sites can be found at:

A Dictionary of Slang
Online Slang Dictionaries and Language Links


Slang from the 1960s

Gotta sci-fi story involving a bunch of BEMs? But you don’t know what a BEM is?
Then it’s time to check out:


Prototype Worlds: A Glossary of SF Jargon


A great site: Dictionary.com (which also includes a thesaurus, translator and encyclopedia)


Need More Dictionaries? Then you have it…in fact, an entire of collection of them. Hit this link, and then don’t forget to scroll down the page to see just how many specialty sites have been collected.


Here’s a mammoth collection of glossaries…

Glossaries and Dictionaries on all subjects–from Glossarist.com


Glossary of grammatical terms used in
English Grammar: Theory and Use
by Hilde Hasselgård, Stig Johansson, Per Lysvåg

(NOTE: This is probably the best glossary of grammatical terms on the Web. Be sure to bookmark this one.)  http://folk.uio.no/hhasselg/terms.html


The Bookshelf Muse

When you go to this site, check out the right side column–specifically at the emotion thesaurus. Quite interesting, and a helpful aid to add to your writer’s toolbox.


VisuWords–An Online Graphical Dictionary


The above is not unlike the fantastic Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus (found at: http://www.visualthesaurus.com), except that VisuWords is free, and very, very cool.


The Visual Dictionary


Ever have a problem dealing with confusing words? Quit, quiet, quite, there, they’re, or their? Here’s a site that lends a hand:



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