best lexicographer (2008)


Though a member of the American Dialect Society and an avid reader of 19th-century newspapers, GEORGE THOMPSON is not your average lexicographer of slang—he has a sense of humor about it. Librarian by day, Mr. Thompson calls himself a "word collector," a phrase he dubs shorthand for "harmless crackpot." However, he has made some important contributions to the field: the earliest usage of baseball (1823) and jazz (1912)—which was oddly first used in the context of baseball.


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