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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, 2011 at 22:44
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    @PLL: That is what I meant. It is rather subjective what a big vocabulary word would be.
    – apaderno
    Feb 15, 2011 at 23:00
  • Garrulous? No. Loquacious? Probably not. Both mean talkative, not necessarily having an extensive vocabulary. Verbally pompous? Maybe...
    – Double U
    Jan 29, 2014 at 2:43
  • I think verbalist is the word we are looking for as discussed here - english.stackexchange.com/a/272568/106212 Sep 6, 2015 at 21:00

9 Answers 9

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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 dunno, I kinda like Thesaurus Rex

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  • Can someone please post an excerpt from this book?!
    – geotheory
    Jan 24, 2015 at 12:05
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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). Jul 19, 2011 at 9:51
  • @TimLymington, the foot in question is a metrical foot, especially a dactyl (long-short-short) in quantitative verse--the basic foot of classical epic Since a long is equivalent to two shorts, this foot is divisible into two, and the patterns short-short-long-short-short and long-short-short-long would each be a foot and a half. In English, with its accentual-syllabic verse, the word sesquipedalian exemplifies itself only in the vague sense of long word, but not literally in the more precise sense, since it is two whole dactyls. Jun 14, 2015 at 13:02
  • @BrianDonovan: In Horace's Odes (the only respectable primary source that I know of) it is specifically "a foot and a half long", not prosodic. Your interpretation is a natural one, but not sipported by evidence. Jun 14, 2015 at 13:10
  • @TimLymington It is a natural interpretation of Horace's own usage in context, Ars Poetica 96-98: "Telephus et Peleus cum pauper et exsul uterque / proiicit ampullas et sesquipedalia verba, / si curat cor spectantis tetigisse querella." Linear measure is generally far less applicable to verbiage than syllabic measure. Jun 14, 2015 at 16:29
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Vocabularian has the advantage of being quite adequately hoity-toity while also reasonably clear.

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  • Do you have a source?
    – Menasheh
    Jan 16, 2017 at 13:48
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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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  • A vocabulist is someone who compiles a vocabulary. It certainly implies knowledge of words, but one can have the knowledge without being a vocabulist. A glottologist is someone who studies the science of languages. Again, a profession/hobby. A philologer is someone who studies the history of words; a collector of words and their etymologies. Same again. A wordsmith is someone who uses words and language well, and perhaps coins words. This seems like the best fit, among the list.
    – jaxter
    Oct 5, 2016 at 4:12
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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, 2013 at 2:03
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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, 2013 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, 2013 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. Mar 16, 2013 at 19:52
  • This may be a valid word in the future lol...
    – Pacerier
    Dec 1, 2013 at 2:04

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