Record Details

Catalog Search

The dictionary people : the unsung heroes who created the Oxford English Dictionary  Cover Image Book Book

The dictionary people : the unsung heroes who created the Oxford English Dictionary / Sarah Ogilvie.

Ogilvie, Sarah, (author.).


The Oxford English Dictionary is one of Western culture's greatest literary achievements, and yet, curiously, its creators were almost never acknowledged. Who were the people behind this unprecedented book? As Sarah Ogilvie reveals, they include three murderers, a collector of pornography, a daughter of Karl Marx, a president of Yale, a radical suffragette, a vicar who was later found dead in the cupboard of his chapel, the inventor of the first American subway, a female antislavery activist in Philadelphia... and thousands more. A thrilling literary detective story, The Dictionary People unravels the mystery of the fascinating global cast of contributors who, for more than seventy years, helped to codify the way we read and write and speak. Their combined efforts resulted in what is arguably the greatest crowdsourcing endeavor in human history, the Wikipedia of its time. Here, then, is a celebration of words, language, and people, whose eccentricities and obsessions, triumphs and failutres, enriched the English language. -- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780593536407
  • ISBN: 0593536401
  • Physical Description: x, 370 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
  • Edition: First American edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Alfred A Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, 2023.

Content descriptions

General Note:
"This is a Borzoi Book"
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 349-352) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
A for archaeologist -- B for best contributor -- C for cannibal -- D for dictionary word nerds -- E for Europeans -- F for families -- G for glossotypists -- H for hopeless contributors -- I for inventors -- J for junkie -- K for kleptomaniac -- L for lunatics -- M for murderers -- N for New Zealanders -- O for outsiders -- P for pornographer -- Q for queers -- R for rain collectors -- S for suffragists -- T for tramps, the Sunday -- U for USA -- V for vicars (and vegetarians) -- W for women -- X for xenomaniacs (and esperantists) -- Y for Yonge, Charlotte, and other novelists -- Z for zealots.
Subject: Oxford English dictionary.
Encyclopedias and dictionaries > History and criticism.
English language > Lexicography > History > 19th century.
English language > Etymology.
Lexicographers > Biography.
Genre: Informational works.
Illustrated works.

Available copies

  • 5 of 6 copies available at Missouri Evergreen. (Show)
  • 0 of 1 copy available at North Kansas City.


  • 0 current holds with 6 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
North Kansas City Public Library 423.092 OGILVIE 2023 (Text) 0001012528025 Nonfiction New In transit -

Additional Resources