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50 classic bookish words modern book lovers could use more often

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Best classic words for book lovers

There is no need to coin new words to describe the exciting life of a book lover. The classic dictionary is full of them.

The most famous bookish words of the internet era, such as vellichor (the strange wistfulness of used bookshops) or bibliosmia (the act of smelling books), were invented just a couple of years ago.

There are never enough words to describe the life and feelings of a booknerd, but sometimes all you need is open a dictionary and find beautiful words that are either lesser known or long forgotten.

One day, I have visited Merriam-Webster online dictionary and thesaurus to find less popular descriptions of a “book lover.” When I switched to the Unabridged Merriam-Webster Dictionary (which includes also the collegiate dictionary and thesaurus) I have discovered dozens of beautiful words that relate to books, libraries, language, and knowledge.

Do you know what “florilegium” is? What about “exordium,” “sesquipedalian,” or “bibliopegist”?

I realize that in the times of digital books some words, such as “buckram” are less needed for the literari. On the other side, you don’t have to be a double-dome to start using a “shelfback” instead of a book spine or describe your collection of books as “assemblage.”

Which of these bookish classic words do you like the most? I have visualized my favorite ones. You can see them on a travel mug, t-shirt, laptop sleeve, or a magnet – visit my RedBubble “Classic Words for Book Lovers” collection to explore possible options.

Classic words for book lovers RedBubble - Piotr Kowalczyk

50 classic words for book lovers

1

Bibliolater - classic words for bookworms

bibliolater

noun [ ˌbi-blē-ˈä-lə-tər ] one who is keenly devoted to books

2

shelfback

noun a book spine; the edge of a book along which the sections are secured together in binding

3

literari

plural noun [ ˌli-tə-ˈrä-(ˌ)tē ] persons interested in literature or the arts

4

Buckram - classic words for book and library lovers

buckram

noun [ ˈbə-krəm ] a stiff, heavily sized fabric usually used for library bindings

5

coinage

noun [ ˈkȯi-nij ] something (such as a word) made up or invented

6

Florilegium - fascinating words for book lovers

florilegium

noun [ ˌflȯr-ə-ˈlē-j(ē-)əm ] a volume of writings

7

broadside

noun [ ˈbrȯd-ˌsīd ] a sizable sheet of paper printed on one side

8

bibliogenesis

noun [ ¦bi-blē-ə-¦je-nə-səs ] production of books

9

Denouement - lovesome words for booklovers

denouement

noun [ ˌdā-ˌnü-ˈmäⁿ ] the final outcome of the main dramatic complication in a literary work

10

paragraphist

noun [ par·a·graph·ist ] a writer of paragraphs especially for the editorial page of a newspaper

11

booklore

noun learning acquired from books as distinguished from practical knowledge

12

Omnilegent - amazing words for avid readers

omnilegent

adjective [ (ˈ)äm¦niləjənt ] reading or having read everything

13

breakfront

noun [ ˈbrāk-ˌfrənt ] a large cabinet or bookcase whose center section projects beyond the flanking end sections

14

Proces-verbal - words for booknerds

procès-verbal

noun [ ¦präˌsāˌver¦bäl ] a detailed written account of things said or done that is official and authenticated

15

intelligencer

noun [ in-ˈte-lə-jən(t)-sər ] a person employed by a newspaper, magazine, or radio or television station to gather, write, or report news

16

word–stock

noun the vocabulary of a language, dialect, or idiolect

17

Frontispiece - brilliant words for bookworms

frontispiece

noun [ ˈfrən-tə-ˌspēs ] an illustration preceding and usually facing the title page of a book or magazine

18

bibliotherapy

noun [ ˌbi-blē-ə-ˈther-ə-pē ] the use of reading materials for help in solving personal problems or for psychiatric therapy

19

exordium

noun [ eg-ˈzȯr-dē-əm ] a short section (as of a book) that leads to or explains the main part

20

articulateness

noun [ är-ˈti-kyə-lət-nəs ] the art or power of speaking or writing in a forceful and convincing way

21

Linguipotence - words for language geeks

linguipotence

noun [ liŋˈgwipətən(t)s ] mastery of languages

22

wordie

noun [ ˈwər-dē ] a lover of words

23

utterance

noun [ ˈə-tə-rən(t)s ] the style or manner of speaking

24

shibboleth

noun [ ˈshi-bə-ləth ] a use of language regarded as distinctive of a particular group

25

argot

noun [ ˈär-(ˌ)gō ] the language used by a particular type or group of people

26

double-dome

noun [ ˈdə-bəl-ˌdōm ] a person of superior intelligence

27

bibliotaph

noun [ ˈbi-blē-ə-ˌtaf ] one that hides away or hoards books

28

vernacular

adjective [ vər-ˈna-kyə-lər ] using a language or dialect native to a region or country rather than a literary, cultured, or foreign language

29

Collectanea - beautiful words for book lovers

collectanea

plural noun [ ˌkä-ˌlek-ˈtā-nē-ə ] literary items forming a collection

30

assemblage

noun [ ə-ˈsem-blij ] an organized group of objects acquired and maintained for study, exhibition, or personal pleasure

31

Periphrasis - words for book lovers

periphrasis

noun [ pə-ˈri-frə-səs ] the use of too many words to express an idea

32

minstrelsy

noun [ ˈmin(t)-strəl-sē ] writing that uses rhythm, vivid language, and often rhyme to provoke an emotional response

33

Pidgin - words for language geeks

pidgin

noun [ ˈpi-jən ] a simplified speech used for communication between people with different languages

34

novelette

noun [ ¦nävə¦let ] a work with imaginary characters and events that is shorter and usually less complex than a novel

35

Litterateur - words for book lovers writers

litterateur

noun [ ¦litərə¦tər ] a person who creates a written work

36

fictionist

noun [ ˈfik-sh(ə-)nist ] a writer of fiction; especially novelist

37

dithyramb

noun [ ˈdi-thi-ˌramz ] a usually short poem in an inspired wild irregular strain

38

Inenarrable - wonderful words for booknerds

inenarrable

adjective [ ¦inē¦narəbəl ] beyond the power to describe

39

verbiage

noun [ ˈvər-bē-ij ] manner of expressing oneself in words

40

wordsmithery

noun [ ˈwərd-ˌsmi-thə-rē ] the skill or craft of working with words

41

crackerjack

noun [ ˈkra-kər-ˌjak ] a person with a high level of knowledge or skill in a field

42

bibliotheca

noun [ ˌbi-blē-ə-ˈthē-kə ] a library or collection of books

43

Sesquipedalian - words for booknerds

sesquipedalian

adjective [ ¦se-skwə-pə-¦dāl-jən ] given to or characterized by the use of long words

44

acrolect

noun [ ˈa-krə-ˌlekt ] the language variety of a speech community closest to the standard or prestige form of a language

45

Polymath - words for booklovers

polymath

noun [ ˈpä-lē-ˌmath ] one of encyclopedic learning

46

bellyband

noun [ ˈbe-lē-ˌband ] a band that is used as packaging or decoration around a book, magazine, or similar item

47

Exemplum - lesser-known words for bookworms

exemplum

noun [ ˈzempləm ] a short narrative used to point a moral or sustain an argument

48

bibliopole

noun [ ˈbi-blē-ə-ˌpōl ] a dealer in books (such as secondhand, rare, or curious books)

49

Colophon - beautiful words for book lovers

colophon

noun [ ˈkä-lə-fən ] an inscription usually placed at the end of a book containing facts relative to its production

50

word–painting

noun a graphic or vivid description in words

51

Bibliopegist - forgotten words for book lovers

bibliopegist

noun [ ˌbi-blē-ˈä-pə-jist ] one that binds or repairs books

Classic words for book lovers

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