What do you call someone who knows the exact denotation of many words and uses very specific words to describe something?

I remember reading a sentence that went like this: Only a _____ knows the meaning of _____. (where ____ is the word I'm looking for)

  • 1
    Grandiloquent? Magniloquent? Commented May 27, 2020 at 17:17
  • 1
    Perhaps a pedant (some of its senses anyway)? Commented May 27, 2020 at 18:16
  • Yes, the sentence begs a perjorative word. Commented May 27, 2020 at 18:32
  • @JasonBassford Yes, that was the word I was looking for. I had somewhat misunderstood the meaning of pedant, so thank you for clearing that up for me. Commented May 28, 2020 at 7:28
  • @DecapitatedSoul I was looking for another word, but thanks for those words anyways. I had no idea there were so many fancy words for those with an affinity for language Commented May 28, 2020 at 7:32

3 Answers 3


How about lexicographer? From Lexico:

lexicographer: A person who compiles dictionaries.

Your example:

Only a lexicographer would know the meaning of X.

Another possibility is vocabularian. From Wiktionary:

vocabularian: One who cultivates a large vocabulary.

Your example:

Only a vocabularian would know the meaning of X.


How about wordsmith?

Only a wordsmith knows the meaning of _____.

Wordsmith (noun): A person skilled in using words.

[Collins Concise English Dictionary]


From comments under the question, a word that is of the same type as what is being looked for is pedant:

1 a : one who is unimaginative or who unduly emphasizes minutiae in the presentation or use of knowledge
1 b : one who makes a show of knowledge
1 c : a formalist or precisionist in teaching

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