Haupz Blog

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Thesaurus Rex

2020-11-08 — Michael Haupt

For us language lovers, here's a nice hefty brick of a book that will make you chuckle and think. Thesaurus Rex is a dictionary of sorts. It's a bit in the tradition of Douglas Adams' masterpiece The Meaning of Liff (available in German as Der tiefere Sinn des Labenz), wherein Adams used the names of cities to ascribe to them meanings and concepts that we all know exist but didn't have words for so far. While Liff/Labenz originate in English, Thesaurus Rex originates in German, and, while doing a similar thing for naming as yet unnamed concepts, uses puns to that end. In that, it's more Joycean in its approach, which doesn't make it any less good.

One of my favourites is "Dellfin". To appreciate it, you need to know that "Delle" is a German word for "dent". Now, a Dellfin can be one of two things: (a) a dented dolphin, (b) the end of a computer manufacturer.

Thesaurus Rex is full of such goodness.

Tags: the-nerdy-bit, books