Dr. Christopher Bird

The Grandiloquent Dictionary

In 1995 I was a young student preparing to go away to university. Knowing I would not be able to take my bug-squasher-size dictionaries with me, I decided to write myself a computer file containing the most interesting and obscure words that I might have need of, along with their definitions. My short list quickly grew to well over 1000 words.


Then in the summer of 1998 I made the seemingly frivolous decision to post my dictionary on my website just in case anyone else might have use of it. To my surprise, it quickly garnered thousands of hits, and received media attention around the world. The early search engines listed my website first for most esoteric and exotic words. The Grandiloquent Dictionary became an online phenomenon.


Ten years later it had been viewed over 1,000,000 times, with viewers coming from six continents and over a hundred countries. I published a paperback and a hard cover version that year to mark the tenth anniversary of its online publication, and both sold well. Other users have converted it into video games, calendars, cell phone apps, and a host of other fascinating projects.


Unfortunately with its success came other problems. Some nefarious ne'er-do-wells were posting copies on their own websites and claiming credit. Others launched denial-of-service attacks against my webhost. And as some already know I was going through some nasty family problems at the same time. It was only through the kindness and support of my many lexicography friends that I managed to keep it running.


But to get to the point of this website, it is simply a mirror of the original. To provide stability and help distribute the bandwidth, I have decided to publish this exact copy of the original. I hope it will find the same success as the original, and will bring joy to many. Please venture forth into the dictionary and enjoy!

NOTE: Due to a few inconsiderate people who have copied this dictionary and claimed ownership (including one site owner who has repeatedly denied doing so even though his pages list my e-mail address as well) I have been forced to add a copyright page. Please read it if you intend to use any of this material.