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The Scottish lexicographer and philologist Sir James Murray (1837–1915), who was the first editor of the Oxford English Dictionary

word +‎ -ster.



wordster (plural wordsters)

  1. One who is skilled at using words; a wordsmith. [from early 20th c.]
    • 1903 January, H[orace] T[raubel], “Collect”, in Horace Traubel, editor, The Conservator, number 11, Philadelphia, Pa.: Innes & Sons, 200 S. Tenth Street, OCLC 1697211, page 162, column 1:
      The toiler toils. The wordster words. And you say all your prayers in words. Toil is always alive. But words are dead.
    • 1923, Flora Warren Seymour, editor, The Step Ladder; a Monthly Journal of Bookly Ascent, volume 7–8, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: The Bookfellows, OCLC 921919796, page 117:
      The style is that of the trained reporter, ready and fluent; the craft of the wordster is here seen at its best.
    • 1924, Julius Weiss Friend, editor, The Double Dealer, New Orleans, La.: The Double Dealer Publishing Co., OCLC 5789331, page 360, column 1:
      So long has it been since Charles Cotton was a wit and a wordster that a short biographical notice well may precede any remarks about this book.
    • 1990, Punch: Or The London Charivari, volume 299, London: Punch, OCLC 50589972, page 14:
      At his command, a team of authentically be-kilted wordsters has combed the highlands and islands of Scotland to bring you this, our tribute to a very special country.
    • 2002, Adam Davies, The Frog King: A Love Story[1], New York, N.Y.: Riverhead Books, →ISBN:
      I know a lie when I hear one, even from a wordster like you.
  2. One who studies words.
    • 1988, Language Technology, Amsterdam: INK International, OCLC 863484143, page 53, column 1:
      Quite how complete or relevant all this information is to professional wordsters remains to be seen, though desktop publishers will find hyphenation rules included []
    • 1994, Richard Lederer, Adventures of a Verbivore, New York, N.Y.: Pocket Books, →ISBN, page 5:
      Wordsters of etymological persuasion also hope to be sitting in the catbird seat when it comes to locating the origins of colorful phrases.
  3. (derogatory) One who uses words instead of actions; a hypocrite, a verbalist.
    • 1909, James Douglas, “Spring Gardens”, in Adventures in London, London; New York, N.Y.: Cassell and Company, Limited, OCLC 933105738, page 230:
      It is not easy to analyse the personality of the [London County] Council, but it is a sharply-marked personality. [] It despises the wordster and the tonguester. It is, in short, a big committee rather than a Parliament.
    • 1919, J[ohn] C[ollis] Snaith, chapter XII, in The Undefeated, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 758763474, page 64:
      He was a wordster, a dreamer; there was nothing at the back of his rose-colored ideas.
    • 1921, Henry Arthur Jones, “Letter Five: Mr. Wells Invents a New Kind of Honesty”, in My Dear Wells: A Manual for the Haters of England: Being a Series of Letters upon Bolshevism, Collectivism, Internationalism, and the Distribution of Wealth Addressed to Mr. H. G. Wells, 2nd edition, London: Eveleigh Nash & Grayson Ltd., 148, Strand, OCLC 58894060, page 37:
      If [Alexander] Kerensky had been a man of insight and action, instead of being a wordster, if he had joined forces with Korniloff [Lavr Kornilov] instead of betraying him, quite another form of government would have been possible and operative in Russia to-day.
    • 1965, Nation, number 160–184, Sydney, N.S.W.: Nation, ISSN 0027-836X, OCLC 173345335, page 145, column 1:
      Why should the prospect, however remote, of a communist government in Vietnam cause us to panic. Mr. Menzies' alarm causes no surprise; he lives in the past. In any case, he is a mere wordster, a trifler when it comes to foreign affairs, which have always been his Achilles heel.