Customer Review

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best dictionary in the world, 14 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Chambers Dictionary 12th Edition (Hardcover)
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Chambers has for decades been a byword for the most comprehensive household dictionary, outside of the very expensive (multi) volumes such as SOED and OED. Chambers is the preferred dictionary for advanced cryptic crosswords and Scrabble, and as such is a must-buy for any casual or serious lover of words.

This edition, the twelfth, is a slight departure, in that the content has been slightly revised over previous editions. Gone is the appendix of first names (very useful and fascinating), and in it's place a 'wordgame' section, featuring basic crossword anagram indicators, etc. Whilst this may be useful to some, any serious player of wordgames would already have Chambers Crossword Dictionary, for instance, so it's hard to see where the new sections fit.

Putting this to one side, this is still a great dictionary, and it's good fun to try to spot the famous 'humorous' Chambers definitions dotted throughout.

Excellent stuff... and the only reason that I haven't given this five stars is the lack of the appendix of first names. Please bring this back for the thirteenth edition!
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 May 2012 07:15:08 BDT
thanks for the well spotted removal of the first name appendix

Posted on 10 Jul 2012 14:29:09 BDT
J. G. Roland says:
Chamber's dictionary 12th edition at £20 and 1920 pages = 1.04 pence per page.

Shorter Oxford English dictionary 6th edition at £47.90 and 3804 pages (two volumes) = 1.25 pence per page. Not so expensive as you suggest once the maths have been done!

I have both options (actually my Chambers is the 11th edition) and though I cannot fault my Chambers in any way, it is to the SOED that I generally turn to. Horses for courses I suppose, but the SOED really is better value overall.

Posted on 26 Apr 2013 17:45:56 BDT
Very useful review - thank you. The word-game section is actually quite off-putting - so thanks for the heads-up. And I second your plea for the return of the name appendix. Perhaps I'll wait for the 13th edition in the hope that Chambers have agreed to your request! *drums fingers*

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2014 12:09:39 GMT
The 'Some first names' section (note the qualification) won't be back. These days anything and everything counts as a forename. Go for Leslie Dunkling's Everyman Dictionary of First Names instead

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2014 12:13:33 GMT
Samuel says:
According to Chambers, the 'some first names' section will be returning in the latest version of the dictionary, due out this summer. This is good news!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2014 14:24:33 GMT
.with 'some' the operative word - no Dwaynes or Hayleighs or Kimberleys or Kourtney and Khloe (Kardashian), I'll bet.. I think Chambers just rejig the parameters each time for increased sales, but I don't hold it against them with those Oxford dogs at their gates. (My trusty edition's from 1993 (1997 reprint) though I find the Chambers Dictionary of Etymology even more invaluable.)
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