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Column: Ramblings on the Writing Life

Fiction Writing - General
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Column: Crafting Fabulous Fiction

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LINKS: Dictionaries, Glossaries, & Language Resources

General References · World English · International · Topical Glossaries · Translation · Look Up a Word
See also: Links to Grammar Resources

General References
AskOxford.com
http://oxforddictionaries.com/
A variety of dictionary and language tools.

Encyberpedia: Dictionaries, Glossaries, & Thesauri
http://www.encyberpedia.com/glossary.htm
Links to a wide range of useful dictionaries and glossaries.

TheFreeDictionary.com
http://www.TheFreeDictionary.com
Offers a "dictionary, thesaurus, literature refernece library and search engine all in one." Also offers a script that enables you to include a dictionary search box on your own website.

Merriam-Webster Online: Language Center
http://www.merriam-webster.com/
If your dictionary isn't handy, look up words on this site -- and find out when a word first (officially) entered the English language.

Omnilexia
http://www.omnilexica.com/
One could spend a lot of time on this site. Type in a word, and not only will you receive definitions, you'll also receive information on films and music containing the word, links to Google books online involving the word, and links to other information sites (such as Wikipedia) that offer more information. The associations from this site could be extremely useful when conducting research.

One-Look Dictionaries
http://www.onelook.com
Hundreds of links to a wide range of dictionaries and glossaries. Offers "lookup" search function. Probably the best-known dictionary site online.

On-Line Dictionaries and Glossaries
http://lai.com/thc/glossaries.html
Links to dictionaries in more than 60 language groups and categories, from Afrikaans to Zulu (and including artificial languages and multilingual dictionaries).

Thesaurus.com
http://thesaurus.com/
Search for synonyms, antonyms, or word categories; look up words, place names, biblical names and zip codes; enjoy daily crosswords and word search puzzles; translate text and web pages.

Wordsmyth: The Educational Dictionary/Thesaurus
http://www.wordsmyth.net/

English Around the World
American-British/British-American Dictionary
http://www.travelfurther.net/dictionaries/
Translates U.S. terms to British and vice versa.

Australian English Glossary from A to Zed
http://www15.uta.fi/FAST/US1/REF/aust-eng.html
Nothing quite matches Australian English for its lively colourful phrases, this site declares. Give it a burl!

English Etymology
http://eleaston.com/etymology.html
Links to dictionaries of "English around the world," including Irish English, Caribbean English, English in India -- plus etymologies, the history of English, phrase finders, "the influence of other languages on English," international names, place names, and more.

World Wide Words
http://www.worldwidewords.org/
Devoted to the English language -- its history, quirks, curiosities and evolution. Includes Weird Words, topical words, definitions, usage, phrases, and more.

World Languages
Australian Indigenous Languages
http://www.dnathan.com/VL/index.php
Links to grammars, dictionaries and other resources relating to the non-English languages spoken in Australia (such as Kamilaroi, Ayapathu and Jingulu), plus topics like "Bush Food and Medicine" and more.

ilovelanguages
http://www.ilovelanguages.com/
Links to a host of international language resources.

On-Line Dictionaries and Glossaries
http://lai.com/thc/glossaries.html
Links to dictionaries in more than 60 language groups and categories, from Afrikaans to Zulu (and including artificial languages and multilingual dictionaries).

Verbix Online Conjugator
http://www.verbix.com/languages/
Conjugate verbs in a host of languages, modern and ancient (including Old Saxon, Proto-Indo-European, Swahile, and dozens more.)

YourDictionary.com
http://www.yourdictionary.com
Look up words through the search function, or browse articles on translation and language issues, or explore the more than 230 international language dictionaries and glossaries (including multilingual dictionaries and endangered languages).

Topical and Specialized Glossaries
Abbreviations.com
http://www.abbreviations.com
Search for acronyms and abbreviations, or browse by category (e.g., computers, science, food, games, international, etc. -- 117 categories in all).

Acronym Finder
http://www.acronymfinder.com
Look up 60,000 acronyms/abbreviations and their meanings.

Acronyma
http://www.acronyma.com/
Billed as "the largest acronymn database on the Web," with over 446,000 entries; use it to look up the meaning of an acronym.

Alternative Dictionaries
http://www.alternative-dictionaries.net/
Dictionaries of slang, "dirty words," and "foul language."

Antique Words, by C. J. Cherryh
http://www.cherryh.com/www/antique1.htm
A list of words that were commonly used prior to the 1900's; useful if you'd like to avoid anachronistic phrases in your historical fiction.

Biographical Dictionary
http://www.s9.com/
A dictionary covering "more than 20,000 notable men and women who have shaped our world from ancient times to the present day."

Castle Terms
http://www.castlesontheweb.com/glossary.html

Cliché Finder
http://www.westegg.com/cliche/
An interesting resource that enables you to search for "clichés" by keyword (e.g., a search on "cat" provides such gems as "Busier than a one-eyed cat watching two mouseholes").

Dictionary of Slang
http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/

DOD Dictionary of Military Terms
http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/dod_dictionary/

Easton's Bible Dictionary
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/easton/ebd2.toc.html

Expressions and Sayings
http://users.tinyonline.co.uk/gswithenbank/sayindex.htm
A huge collection of the origins of words, phrases and expressions. Of course, there is always considerable debate over the origins of many popular expressions, but this offers a good summary of more generally accepted definitions.

FAST Glossary Center
http://www15.uta.fi/FAST/GC/
List of all kinds of glossaries and dictionaries.

Feudal Terms of England
http://history.eserver.org/feudal-terms.txt

Glossary of Grammatical Terms
http://www.writingenglish.com/glossary.htm

Glossary of Internet Terms
http://www.matisse.net/files/glossary.html

Glossary of Photographic Terms
http://www.tinyprints.com/photography-terms.htm
Shutterbugs out there may find this extensive list of photography terms useful!

Glossary of Poetic Terms
http://www.poeticbyway.com/glossary.html
An excellent dictionary of poetic terms.

Glossary of Poetic Terms
http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/glossary
A fascinating collection of terms, from acatalectic to zeugma.

Hellatine Dictionary of Bureaucratese
http://home.earthlink.net/~skilton/dictionary.html
An entertaining collection of made-up words (e.g., "abrevision = work made worse by revision"). No longer being maintained.

How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement
http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/

Interjections by Language
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:Interjections_by_language

investorwords.com
http://www.investorwords.com/
Dictionary of financial and investment terms.

Medi-Lexicon
http://www.medilexicon.com/
"A dictionary of over 140,000 medical, pharmaceutical, biomedical & healthcare acronyms and abbreviations. Plus medical news and searches for the medical, pharmaceutical or healthcare professional."

Netlingo: The Internet Dictionary
http://www.netlingo.com/

The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form
http://www.oedilf.com/db/Lim.php
An effort to define every word in the English language with a limerick; currently up to "ba"! Definitely a site by, and for, people with way too much time in their hands.

Semantic Rhyming Dictionary
http://www.rhymezone.com/
Look up rhymes by sound, number of syllables, and preferred meaning.

Smith's Bible Dictionary
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/smith_W/bibledict

Symbols.com
http://www.symbols.com
"SYMBOLS.com contains more than 2,500 Western signs, arranged into 54 groups according to their graphic characteristics. In 1,600 articles their histories, uses, and meanings are thoroughly discussed. The signs range from ideograms carved in mammoth teeth by Cro-Magnon men, to hobo signs and subway graffiti."

Twists, Slugs and Roscoes: A Glossary of Hardboiled Slang
http://www.miskatonic.org/slang.html
A fun guide to "detective" and police slang, especially of the 20's, 30's and 40's.

WorldWideWeb Acronym and Abbreviation Server
http://acronyms.silmaril.ie/cgi-bin/uncgi/acronyms
An excellent acronym "look-up" site.

Translation Resources
Freetranslation.com
http://www.freetranslation.com
Here's a handy site to translate texts into and out of English, from a handful of major languages (including Spanish, French, and German). It isn't perfect, but it is enough to help you make sense of a letter, even if all the words aren't properly translated or translated at all; I wouldn't suggest it for trying to convert your own work to another language.

FreeTranslator.com
http://www.free-translator.com
Offers a variety of free translation interfaces.

Global Translation Services
http://www.gts-translation.com/tools/free-online-translation/
A free online translation tool that provides translation in a number of language pairs, including English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese and Russian.

Languages-on-the-Web
http://www.lonweb.org/
A wealth of resources to help one learn languages or find publications in different languages, links to international language resources and sites in various languages, and translators.

Translatorsbase.com
http://www.translatorsbase.com
international database of translators available in multiple languages. Listings of translation jobs and translation projects. Free translation services. Tools for translators, translation agencies and translation outsourcers. Free Registration.

Translator's Home Companion
http://lai.com/thc/companion.html
"A focal point of information about resources available on the Internet and elsewhere for translators, interpreters, and all those interested in the arts and crafts of foreign languages." Includes news, library catalogs, databases, directories of translators, translation agencies and organizations, dictionaries, localization/globalization information, and more.

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