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January 5, 2018
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January 17, 2018
Yay! January 18th is National Thesaurus day. Interesting to think about how often we use the thesaurus. So many interesting words to replace and learn about. It’s also very interesting to think about what our vocabulary would be like without synonyms and antonyms. Yes, very interesting.

Oops! See what we did there ;) We should be reaching for our trusty thesaurus right about now...

Fascinating History of the Thesaurus

Did you know Dr. Peter Mark Roget created the first modern thesaurus? He was a British doctor and mathematician who created a personal book of words for his writing. Not until the 1840s did he decide to fully work on his collection. In 1852, the first modern thesaurus was printed!

But, before Roget, there was a Greek historian who wrote a book of synonyms. Philo of Byblos was a Greek historian and grammarian. The book lists Greek words that are similar in meaning to each other and was called On Synonyms. It was dated back as late as the 1st century CE.

Fact: The word thesaurus derives from the Greek word for treasure. Basically, the thesaurus is a storage place for valuable words and diction.

Thesaurus Day Library Celebration

Celebrate Thesaurus Day at your library! Try out one of these books, activities, or displays.

Three Thesaurus Picture Books

Have fun reading one or all of these learning thesaurus picture books.

Thesaurus Day Library Displays

A library isn’t complete without cute and punny library displays. Spice up your library bulletin boards with synonyms!

Thesaurus Library Activities

Kids love activities and a good challenge! Teach students about the thesaurus and synonyms by playing one of these games!
Describing a Person
We've all seen and heard the same words used by kids over and over... Teach students to think broader when it comes to their word selection through this activity! You'll need:

  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Thesauri
  • Dictionarys

Pair students into groups. Taking a volunteer from each group, the students will then have one minute to come up with as many words for one trait of that person (i.e. tall). After one minute, allow students to pull out their thesauri to find more words. The group with the most synonyms wins!
Sunflower of Synonyms
Create a cute sunflower out of student-made synonyms. All you need is paint sample cards. We also suggest starting out with easy words at every end of the paint card, such as "happy, pretty, nice, etc...."

Once the students fill out each of their own paint sample cards, you can use them as a library display!

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  1. Penny Castillo says:


  2. […] 18 is Thesaurus Day. Let’s celebrate by eating synonym […]

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