Patrick Hanks (born 24 March 1940) is an English lexicographer, corpus linguist, and onomastician. He has edited dictionaries of general language, as well as dictionaries of personal names. After graduation from University College, Oxford, he started his lexicographic career as editor of the Hamlyn Encyclopedic World Dictionary (1971). In 1970, he was appointed editor of Collins English Dictionary (1979). From 1980 to 1983, he was director of the Names Research Unit of the University of Essex, England, where he began a PhD under the supervision of Yorick Wilks.
In 1983, he was appointed managing editor of COBUILD, and in 1987 he took on the additional role of chief editor of English dictionaries for Collins (now HarperCollins). In the summer of 1988 and 1989 he was a visiting scientist at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ, where he co-authored with Ken Church influential papers  on corpus-based statistical methods in lexical analysis.
From 1990 to 2000, he served as chief editor of current English dictionaries at Oxford University Press (OUP). In 1991 to 1992, he was joint principal investigator (with Mary-Claire van Leunen) of the HECTOR project at the Systems Research Center of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in Palo Alto, CA. The HECTOR project was a collaboration between OUP and DEC, and although its results were never published, they served as a basis for the New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998), while the lexicographers working on it were also guinea-pig users in the development of one of the earliest search engines (AltaVista). On the basis of the COBUILD and HECTOR research in corpus analysis, Hanks began to develop his theory of Norms and Exploitations. From 2001 to 2005, he was adjunct professor of computational lexicography at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, where he worked closely with James Pustejovsky. In 2003, he was appointed consultant and visiting scientist to the Collocations Project and Electronic Dictionary of the German Language (DWDS) at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW) headed by Christiane Fellbaum.
Patrick Hanks is author of many papers on lexical analysis, lexicography, onomastics, and similes and metaphor. He is editor in chief of the Dictionary of American Family Names (3 volumes, OUP 2003), and is co-author with Flavia Hodges and Kate Hardcastle of the Oxford Dictionary of First Names (1990, 2006). He was section editor for lexicography in the second edition of the Elsevier Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (ELL2; 2005), edited by Keith Brown, for which he commissioned survey articles on lexicography in all the world's major languages and on major issues in lexicography and lexicology. He is currently editing a multivolume collection covering the history of lexicology for Routledge.
He holds the position of Associate Professor of Computational Lexicography at the Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, as well as serving as a consultant on lexicographical methodology to the Institute for the Czech Language in Prague, to Patakis Publishers in Athens, and others.
- Modern lexicography: an introduction By Henri Béjoint, page 76.
- Word association norms, mutual information, and lexicography (1990) over 1,700 citations on Google scholar
- Google Scholar, over 145 other cited papers
- Many surnames began as insulting nicknames Vancouver Sun, Oct 9, 2007
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- Was Elvis Irish, Welsh, Scottish, German or What?