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January 18 is Thesaurus Day. Impress your family and friends with big, complicated, and fancy sounding words to celebrate this lexicographic holiday.

The unofficial holiday commemorates the birth anniversary of British lexicographer and physician, Peter Mark Roget, the author of the Roget’s Thesaurus.

Storehouse of Words

A thesaurus is a book that compiles words grouped by similarity of meaning. The term thesaurus comes from the Greek word, thesauros, meaning treasure or storehouse.

Roget’s Thesaurus is one of the most widely used reference books in the English language around the world. It was first published in 1852 with 15,000 words. Since then, the book has never gone out of publication.

Therapeutic Origins

It is believed that Roget worked on making word lists that later became the Roget’s Thesaurus as a way to combat with depression and mental illness. Roget is also known for inventing the log slide rule in 1814. The slide rule helps calculate the roots of number very easily.

How to Celebrate?

  • Bring out your thesaurus and carry it with you the whole day, using it every time you want to speak with someone.
  • Play a game of Synonym.

Did You Know…

…that synonym is an antonym of antonym?

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