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What's a big-vocabulary word for someone with a big vocabulary?

I'd like to say I'm looking for a "_____".

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@kiamlaluno: A fancy-schmancy word that most people don’t know, or at least wouldn’t use very often. Some people use such words rather indiscriminately, and more than is necessary, to show off about having a big vocabulary. On the other hand, others use unusual and exotic words more judiciously, with pleasure and playfulness. Your mileage may vary as to judging which is which… –  PLL Feb 15 '11 at 22:44
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@PLL: That is what I meant. It is rather subjective what a big vocabulary word would be. –  kiamlaluno Feb 15 '11 at 23:00
    
Garrulous? No. Loquacious? Probably not. Both mean talkative, not necessarily having an extensive vocabulary. Verbally pompous? Maybe... –  Anonymous Jan 29 at 2:43
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9 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

A lexicomane?  Literally: someone who’s mad about dictionaries…

This seems to be too new and/or marginal a coinage to appear in the major dictionaries yet; but it’s made from standard parts, and made well, so should be easily comprehensible (certainly by any big-vocabulary-person), and seems to be gaining quite a bit of currency (googling it reveals plenty of use). On Wordnik.

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I came up with 3 terms.

  1. logophile - a lover of words
  2. sesquipedalian loquaciousness - sesquipedalian(long words; polysyllabic) ; loquacious(talkative)
  3. gross verbosity - verbose(wordy)
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Megagaltastic: I'm looking for a megagaltastic individual

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Do you have a proper citation for that? –  tchrist Mar 16 '13 at 16:13
    
@BellevueBob Preferably something that’s curated, not crowd-sourced. Also, it isn’t nice to link to spammy sites like that. –  tchrist Mar 16 '13 at 19:47
    
Okay, I'll delete the comment. That was just one of several "hits" from a web search. Just curious why the answer got so many down-votes, but I visit here rarely. –  BellevueBob Mar 16 '13 at 19:52
    
This may be a valid word in the future lol... –  Pacerier Dec 1 '13 at 2:04
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I was going to suggest sesquipedalian — which is certainly a big word, although perhaps not as precisely aligned with an extensive vocabulary as lexicomane (other than by inference). Still, I'm unsure that PLL's call is the right one.

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Sesquipedalian means 'of a foot and a half', it was originally used of words, meaning 'a foot and a half long', but if applied to a human being it would mean 'lacking half a foot' (and yes, I do know someone to whom it applies). –  TimLymington Jul 19 '11 at 9:51
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As @PLL and @fotunate1 noted, lexicomane and sesquipedalian are probably the words that most accurately describe someone with a big vocabulary.

Here are some other words that mean one who studies or is knowledgeable in words; such a person would have quite an extensive vocabulary, I'd hope:

  • Philologer
  • Glottologist
  • Wordsmith
  • Vocabulist
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I dunno, I kinda like Thesaurus Rex

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Vocabularian has the advantage of being quite adequately hoity-toity while also reasonably clear.

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You could go with "logophile", a lover of words.

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A lexicographer is someone who compiles dictionaries, maybe that would fit the bill? To be honest, your questions isn't crystal-clear...

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Nope, there are tons of lexicographers that speak normally (do not speak bombastically). –  Pacerier Dec 1 '13 at 2:03
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protected by RegDwigнt Mar 16 '13 at 17:19

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