Word Spy – Explore New Interesting Words and Phrases

  • Idea
  • Design
  • Usabilty
  • Price
  • Utility
  • User Ratings (28 Votes)
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If you are a word nerd, you’ll love it. If you aren’t – well, we think you’ll still enjoy learning about “binge-reading” or “binge-watching”, sock puppets and Uberization.


For some people, words are simply utilitarian; they serve a purpose, no more, no less.  Other people, usually people who like to read and/or write love words.  Yes, words are tools, but in a larger sense they are ingredients.  Just as most home cooks have a dozen or spices, including one or two types of pepper, most people have a significant, but limited vocabulary.  Just as most people see little reason to fill their cabinet with ten different kinds of pepper while chefs do just that, wordsmiths love to have ten different ways to say “happy”.

Word Spy is for wordsmiths, or wordsmith wanna-bes. Word Spy features new words, or new uses of old words.  It gives the entomology of the word, lists quotes in which the word was used and defines it.

Idea 10/10

Word Spy is the place for words which haven’t made it into the dictionary yet.  The difference between a dead language like Latin and a living spoken language is that living languages are always evolving and changing.  New words or phrases are invented and those which have outlived their usefulness drop into disuse.  On WordSpy you can learn about new usage and decide whether to adopt it, or whether you should be insulted by it.

Design 9/10

Word Spy is a simple site that is easy to navigate via the menu on the left-hand side. There are not complicated twists or turns required to reach where you want to go. It serves the purpose it was create to, and nothing more, so we give it a full 10.

Usability 10/10

Word Spy dictionary

What is a selfie?  Now, we all know; several years ago the word was never used.  In between then and now, we may have been able to use context clues to figure it out, but Word Spy would have told us for sure that a selfie was a self-portrait photo, generally with the purpose of sharing on social network sites, and that it also became a common term and activity around 2012. Also, “selfie” was the word of the year in 2013 for Oxford Dictionaries Online.  For those who wish to reflect popular language in writing this kind of knowledge is important and we don’t know where else you’d find it in such a convenient form.

Price 10/10

The site is free to use.  The only thing we could find that they were selling is book, and we had to look for that.  There are no ads on the site.  It appears to be a labor of love, or else a resume for a speaking gig because they’d have to sell a lot of books to make any money off this site.

Utility 9/10

If you are a word nerd, you’ll love it.  If you aren’t – well, we think you’ll still enjoy learning about “binge-reading” or “binge-watching”, sock puppets and Uberization.  If you have teenagers, it may be able to translate what they say into English!

+ Completely free
+ No ads
+ Easy to navigate
– Niche content

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