Friday, April 3, 2009

100 Unbelievably Useful Reference Sites You've Never Heard Of

I came across this site 100 Unbelievably Useful Reference Sites You've Never Heard Of (obviously grammar isn't one of them) on today, and I must say I found it informative and amusing. There truly are 100 useful sites, but I'm only listing the first 30--of more interest, perhaps, to the average mystery reader. Feel free to read the entire site and go to all links. Nice to expand one's knowledge.

Dictionaries and More

When you need a quick definition or want more specialized results that display synonyms, rhyming words and slang, turn to this list.

  1. OneLook: This no-frills online dictionary lets you look up basic definitions, related words, phrases and more. You can even customize your experience with different searches.
  2. RhymeZone: Type in a word to find rhyming words, synonyms, definitions, Shakespeare references and more.
  3. Strange and Unusual References: Head to this site to look up all-vowel words, magic words, magic archetypes, how to identify unicorns and other odd material.
  4. This online translator can find words in Dutch, Afrikaans, Russian, Portugese, Swedish, Japanese, Hungarian and more.
  5. The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: Search through topics like technology, American history, literature in English, proverbs and more to become a more "active citizen in our multicultural democracy."
  6. Word Spy: Search for a specific word to bring up funny quotations and a definition, or you can browse categories and sub categories like aging and death, hacking and hackers, entrepreneurs, jargon and buzzwords, art and design, drugs, euphemisms, sleeping or cell phones.
  7. Slang Site: Look up Web words, slang and even made up but often used words here.
  8. Behind the Names: Find out the history of your name or search names by categories like English, Spanish, mythology, Biblical names, African and more.
  9. Directory of Occupational Titles: If you’ve ever wanted to know the official name of your job, look it up here.
  10. Glossary of Real Estate Abbreviations, Terms and Phrases: Get through your next home signing by doing some extra research on this site.

Teacher References

Teaching guides like these will help you double-check facts, look for relevant quotes, find different careers in education, and get ideas for lesson plans.

  1. Twain Quotations A to Z: Inspire (or confuse) your students by throwing out a Mark Twain quote every once in a while. You can search by subject matter.
  2. Math Glossary: Look up words and concepts like abacus, Thales’ theorem, obtuse triangle and a lot more in this special site.
  3. Biology Website References for Students and Teachers: Learn about evolution, cell chemistry, anatomy and genetics from this list of reference sites.
  4. Children’s Literature Web Guide: Look for award-winning children’s books, readers’ theatre sites, stories published online and more on this site.
  5. Charles Dickens Gad’s Hill Place: Use this quote page to search by topic, title, or phrase, or pull from The Daily Dose of Dickens book.
  6. Encyclopedia Mythica: Search for text, quotes and history of mythology, folklore and religon. Categories include Greek people, Celtic mythology and Roman mythology.
  7. American Memory: The Library of Congress’ American culture and history reference site features topics like environment and conservation, immigration, women’s history, Presidents, religion, maps, literature, African American history and others.
  8. ASL Browser: Look up American Sign Language signs here.
  9. Ditto: Search the web for all kinds of beautiful images on this site.
  10. Learning and Performance Glossary: From accelerated learning to guidance package to meta skills, this glossary is full of education terms for teachers.

Librarian References

Librarians will benefit from these great reference sites, some of which were designed just for or by librarians.

  1. A Glossary of the Humanities: Click on a letter to look up words, phrases and concepts that use references from Foucault, Burke, Frye and others as definitions.
  2. Library of Congress Online Catalogs: We’re pretty sure most librarians have heard of this site, but it’s seriously one of the best reference sites on the Web.
  3. Historical Text Archives: This site boasts nearly 687 articles and 70 books about history, especially American history.
  4. KidsClick!: This educational search engine was created by librarians and is organized by topics like society and government, machines and transportation, health and family, facts and reference, and a lot more.
  5. Library Spot: This great reference site has links to encyclopedias, Top 10 lists, business references, public libraries and a LOT more.

Just for Fun

Search for unique profanity, sex terms and ridiculously long words here.

  1. The Dialectizer: Paste a URL into the box and select a dialect like Redneck, Cockney or Elmer Fudd to have the whole site translated.
  2. The Devil’s Dictionary: This adapted version of Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary contains words like brute, gallows, damn, wrath, and X.
  3. Sexual Dictionary: Look up quotes for "doin’ the wild thing" here, as well as other slang terms for sex.
  4. Grandiloquent Dictionary: Impress your friends by using huge words you found here.
  5. Roger’s Profanisaurus: Have fun looking up profane words at "the ultimate swearing dictionary."

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