Gifts for the Word Lover

Since we’ve started holiday shopping (right?), I’m taking four weeks of my Amaze-ing Words Wednesday posts to give y’all some ideas of what to buy the language lovers in your life.

Last week, I provided some options for what the Grammar Geek might want. Today we’ll talk about the Word Lover–that person who just revels in the beauty and fun of words themselves.

Board Games. Numerous board games focus on vocabulary and creative word use. I have posted in the past on some of my favorite word games. There are plenty of word games, however, that I haven’t played. You probably can’t go wrong trusting certain board game awards for good choices. The Mensa Select seal indicates games ranked highly by the American Mensa society for being easy to learn, challenging to play, and fun. Word on the Street and Finish Lines are two previous Mensa Select winners. Also, Dr. Toy gives Top 10 lists each year, and Synonyms and Dabble were on Dr. Toy’s Best 10 Games list.

Wall clock. Clocks just have boring numbers, unless you spice them up with some letters. Check out the following clocks for the Word Lovers in your life.

Word magnets. Letter and word magnets for a fridge provide plenty of fun. You can keep a game going with Scrabble refrigerator magnets. Play with yourself as a personal challenge, or with a family member or roommate as you each pass by the fridge.

Or check out the many word magnet options at

Books about Etymology. Where do we get certain words and phrases? Why is it “raining cats and dogs” or “rule of thumb”? The Word Lover likes to know. One of my favorite books is Red Herrings and White Elephants: The Origins of the Phrases We Use Every Day. Author Albert Jack researched extensively and is honest about what we know and don’t know. He also presents his findings in a readable format with a good index.

Shower curtain. Overstock has a shower curtain featuring common vocabulary words from the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). Do you know what “specious” means? Perhaps you would if you showered with the word every single day.

Or grab your own permanent marker and fill in the blanks. Ooh, what fun!

365 Days Calendar. The Word Lover enjoys adding vocabulary and word trivia to their repertoire. Merriam-Webster puts out the classic 365 New Words a Year calendar, with a vocabulary word each day. Other options are the Word Origins calendar and the Urban Dictionary calendar (taking a page from Natalie Hartford on that one).

Oxford English Dictionary. A gal can dream, can’t she? Normally priced at a whopping $295 for a yearly subscription, the Oxford English Dictionary online is currently available for only $236. The OED has become the definitive reference source for what words are accepted into English as well as their history. Word aficionados drool at the thought of owning this baby.

What else does the Word Lover in your life want? Do you have any other gift suggestions?

30 thoughts on “Gifts for the Word Lover

  1. OMG I want that first shower curtain!! Fabulous….AND I dare say the Urban Dictionary calendar was MADE for me…LOL!! Thanks for the uber shout out darlin’!! You rock!!

    GREAT gift ideas….there’s nothing better than board game fun that ties in WORD fun!!

    1. I agree, Natalie! Fun, fun, fun! And yes, you need that UD calendar. In fact, they should tap you to make the 2014 calendar, along with tips for how to use the words. LOL.

    2. Haha. Natalie, before I saw that you’d commented, I was about to say, “Someone should give Natalie Hartford the Urban Dictionary calendar. She’d probably love it.” Great minds think alike 🙂

  2. I used to play Scrabble with my mother all the time and I don’t know if she ever beat me. I wonder whether she did that on purpose. Now that she’s gone I don’t have that partnership any longer with anyone else. I miss that so much.

    1. How lovely! I adore Scrabble! My grandmother used to play all the time, and it was a requirement at her house to get into a game.

      I’ll be your partner, Patti. Here, I’ll play the first virtual word: QUIZ for 46 points. Your turn. 😉

  3. I love this list of games and things! That word find clock is perfect–I want it. I can’t get my family to play Scrabble with me, so I settle with Wordfeud on my phone with my bro-in-law. Yes, I’m drooling over the OED. Sigh.

  4. I have the Oxford Dictionary in print copy – usually £300 but was being offered a couple of years ago as introductary offer to a book group at £15 – I can hear your wow from here:) the best bargin of my life I reckon – there it sits, two huge vols. leather bound and boxed:):) I can see it as I type – pride of place – with my wrists I need two hands to carry one vol. to table and peruse – there’s something gloriously old fashioned and indulgent about reading a large book open on a table:) now am I not one lucky old bunny?

  5. I love word games! Boggle and Bananagrams are two faves in our house. 🙂 Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. OOOh I love boggle, too. 🙂 The Red Herrings, White Elephants book is what interests me. I love finding out where sayings come from.

    Thanks for the fun post!

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