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?