A book by any other name
Following on from our post about the etymology of the word book, we’ve delved into the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to find different words for book and various types of book through time… they’re in the word cloud above, and the list below.
anagraph – a record or register of events.
anagraphy – an anagraph.
biblet – a book, or a library.
codex – a manuscript volume: e.g. one of the ancient manuscripts of the Scriptures, or of the ancient classics.
curdler – a story, etc., that (supposedly) curdles the blood.
curiosa – curiosities, oddities; specifically erotic or pornographic books.
diegesis – the narrative presented by a cinematographic film or literary work.
disquisition – a treatise or discourse in which a subject is investigated and discussed, or the results of investigation set forth at some length.
drawth – a treatise.
ergasy – a literary production; a treatise.
examen – a critical dissertation or treatise.
fifteener – a 15th-century book.
incunabulum – a book printed before 1500.
introuvable – an unfindable, undiscoverable book.
makimono – a Japanese scroll containing a narrative, usually in pictures and with explanatory writing, designed to be examined progressively from right to left as it is unrolled.
monument – a written document or record.
narrative – a story; an account.
novel – a fictional prose narrative.
panchart – originally: a charter, esp. one of a general character, or confirming all special grants. In later use: a written record of any kind.
rariora – rare books.
rarissima – extremely rare books, manuscripts, or prints.
récit – a book or passage consisting largely of narrative.
reportory – a written account of something; esp. a literary composition in the form of a report.
Robinsonade – a novel with a subject similar to that of Robinson Crusoe; a story about being marooned on a desert island or some similarly inhospitable place.
roman à clef – a novel in which actual people or events are represented in disguised form, as by the use of fictitious names.
rotulet – a small roll.
saga – a narrative having the (real or supposed) characteristics of the Icelandic sagas; a story of heroic achievement.
spine-freezer – a book that inspires excitement and terror.
swashbuckler – A book, film, or other work portraying a swaggering bravo or ruffian.
tec – abbreviation of detective story.
thesis – a dissertation to maintain and prove a thesis.
tome – a book, a volume; now usually suggesting a large, heavy, old-fashioned book.
tract – a book or written work treating of some particular topic; in later use: a short pamphlet on some religious, political, or other topic, suitable for distribution or for purposes of propaganda.
volumen – a volume, a book.
whodunit (or whodunnit) – a story or other work of fiction about the solving of a mystery, esp. a murder.
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