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Seven Deadly Dictionaries

Alphabetize your vice with this sinful set of dictionaries

by James Thorne in Culture on 18 October 2011

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Naughty librarians will love Deadly Dictionaries, a reference set based on the Seven Deadly Sins. Jennifer Wood has compiled the collection to elucidate gluttony, wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, and envy—each given its own cloth-bound reference tome with the look and feel of an antique. Consider it a portable, curated distillation of the Oxford English Dictionary that you don't need a magnifying glass to read. These books may not make you good, but they will teach you the proper lexicon for being bad.

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We got to sample Gluttony: A Dictionary for the Indulgent here at Cool Hunting, and after a coincidental deep-fried office lunch, picked our favorite entries. Interspersed throughout the definitions are quotations from famous rhetoricians, weighing in on the sin at hand. Benjamin Franklin reflects on the vice of gluttony (and, unwittingly, the obesity epidemic) when he writes, "In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires." Best of all, this handy guide arms us with a host of ways to call out our portly pals—or chow hounds, gourmands, sybarites, trenchermen and wastrels, as we now call them.

The Deadly Dictionaries are gift-ready this holiday season, so go ahead and indulge the eloquent sinner in your life on Amazon.

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