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Grant Barrett
Works at Wayword Inc. (A Way with Words)
Attended Columbia University
Lives in San Diego, California
1,140 followers|604,225 views


Grant Barrett

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Radio host, editor, writer, lexicographer.
I am a radio host, public speaker, lexicographer and journalist. My personal website is, where you can find my blog, full contact information, and information about upcoming speaking engagements.

The text below was written for use by others, so it's in the third person. The most recent version will be at

He is co-host of the language-related public radio show A Way with Words, an independently produced and distributed nonprofit based in San Diego and broadcast from coast to coast.

He is also an American lexicographer and dictionary editor specializing in slang and new words. He compiled and edited the "Official Dictionary of Unofficial English" (2006, McGraw-Hill) and the "Oxford Dictionary of American Political Slang" (2004, Oxford University Press), and is well-known for his prize-winning online Double-Tongued Dictionary, which tracks slang, jargon, and neologisms from the fringes of English. He has contributed to dozens of monolingual and bilingual dictionaries in the English-speaking world. He is a co-founder of Wordnik, an online dictionary.

Besides being a widely quoted about language, Grant has written about it for such newspapers as the Washington Post and the New York Times, has contributed to the British book series "The Language Report," and is a public speaker about language, dictionaries and slang. He has also written for the Malaysia Star, the journal Copyediting (and its website at, and has worked as a business and music journalist for dailies and weeklies.

He serves as vice president of the American Dialect Society, an academic organization devoted since 1889 to the study of English in North America. He has been the chair of its New Words Committee, has edited the "Among the New Words" column of the society's journal American Speech, has served as a member of the journal's editorial review board, and still helps organize the society's annual "word of the year" vote.

He is also a member of the Dictionary Society of North America and the Linguistic Society of America.

Formerly, Grant was the engagement editor for, an innovative nonprofit online-only newspaper. He was responsible for increasing online and offline awareness of its content and bringing community commentary, opinion and insight into its pages.

Grant holds a degree in French from Columbia University and has studied at the Université Paris Diderot.

Though born and raised in Missouri, Grant has lived at length in New York City, Paris, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and now lives in sunny California, with his wife—a linguist/lexicographer—and their son.
  • Columbia University
  • University of Missouri - Columbia
  • Université Paris Diderot
Basic Information
Editor, writer, radio host, lexicographer
  • Wayword Inc. (A Way with Words)
    board member and officer, 2009 - present
  • A Way with Words
    co-producer, co-host, 2006 - present
  • American Dialect Society
    vice president and officer
    2010 - 2011
  • (Alphabeticall Inc.)
  • Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners
  • Oxford University Press
  • Della Femina Jeary & Partners
  • Booz Allen & Hamilton
  • Kinko's
  • Cengage
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Collins Dictionaries
  • KFRU 1400 AM Columbia, MO
  • KCOU 88.1 FM Columbia, MO
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
San Diego, California
Missouri - Troy, MO - Paris, France - Brooklyn, New York - St. Croix, USVI - San Mateo, CA - New York, NY - Astoria, NY - Vandalia, MO - Clubb, MO - Florrissant, MO - New Melle, MO - San Diego, CA - Clubb, MO