Paul Dickson (writer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Paul Dickson
Dickson in 2009.
Dickson in 2009.
BornYonkers, New York
U.S. Military,
word origins and slang
Notable worksThe Bonus Army, Labels for Locals, War Slang

Paul Dickson (born 1939 in Yonkers, New York) is a freelance writer of more than 65 non-fiction books, mostly on American English language and popular culture. He has written many articles on a wide variety of subjects, including baseball and the military.[1]

He is a founding member and former president of Washington Independent Writers and a member of the National Press Club.[2][3][4] Dickson coined the term "word word".[5]

For his published work on baseball, The Washington Post has described Dickson as "baseball's answer to Noah Webster or, at the very least, William Safire."[6] In May 1979, he appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to promote his book The Official Rules, which detailed the history of Murphy's Law and similar aphorisms. Carson and Dickson spent time sharing similar sayings that they enjoyed.[7]

Dickson graduated from Wesleyan University in 1961. He resides in Garrett Park, Maryland.[8]



  • Think Tanks. Ballentine Books, 1971.
  • The Great American Ice Cream Book. Atheneum Books, 1973.
  • The Electronic Battlefield. Indiana University Press, 1976. ISBN 0253121582
  • Chow: A Cook's Tour of Military Food. New American Library, 1978. ISBN 978-0452251854
  • The Official Rules: The Definitive, Annotated Collection of Laws, Principles and Instructions for Dealing with the Real World. Delacorte Press, 1978. ISBN 978-0440065456
  • The New Official Rules. Addison-Wesley, September 1990. ISBN 978-0201550900
  • Slang! The Topic-by-Topic Dictionary of Contemporary American Lingoes. 1990. Updated and expanded, 1998.
  • Dickson's Word Treasury: A Connoisseur's Collection of Old and New, Weird and Wonderful, Useful and Outlandish Words. John Wiley & Sons; Revised edition, March 1992. ISBN 978-0471551683
  • What's in a Name?: Reflections of an Irrepressible Name Collector. Merriam-Webster, October 1996. ISBN 978-0877796138
  • Labels for Locals: What to Call People from Abilene to Zimbabwe. Merriam-Webster, 1997. ISBN 0877796165 Reissued Collins, 2006. ISBN 006088164X)
  • The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary. Harvest Books, February 15, 1999. ISBN 978-0156005807
  • The Bonus Army: An American Epic, with Thomas Allen. Walker & Company, December 1, 2004. ISBN 0802714404
  • Slang: The Topical Dictionary of Americanisms. Walker & Company, October 3, 2006. ISBN 978-0802715319
  • Sputnik: The Shock of the Century. Walker & Company, June 26, 2007. ISBN 978-0802713650
  • The Dickson Baseball Dictionary. W. W. Norton & Company, March, 2009. ISBN 978-0393066814
  • The Dickson Baseball Dictionary. W. W. Norton & Company, June, 2011. ISBN 978-0393340082
  • War Slang: American Fighting Words & Phrases Since the Civil War, with Ben Lando. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2011. ISBN 978-0486477503
  • Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick. Walker & Company, April 24, 2012. ISBN 0802717780
  • Words from the White House: Words and Phrases Coined or Popularized by America's Presidents. Walker & Company, January 8, 2013. ISBN 0802743803
  • Authorisms: Words Wrought by Writers. Bloomsbury USA, April 22, 2014. ISBN 1620405407
  • Contraband Cocktails: How America Drank When It Wasn't Supposed To. Melville House, 2015. ISBN 1612194583
  • Leo Durocher: Baseball's Prodigal Son. Bloomsbury USA, 2017. ISBN 1632863111


  1. ^ Paul Dickson (29 September 2014). "Home - Paul Dickson".
  2. ^ "Paul Dickson Biography".
  3. ^ ""A Chat With Paul Dickson", Wordsmith Chat, Sep 26, 2006".
  4. ^ ""Paul Dickson, Washington Journalist", The Globalist". Archived from the original on 2004-12-18.
  5. ^ The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford University Press. 1992. pp. 1127. ISBN 0-19-214183-X.
  6. ^ "BOOK REVIEW: 'The Dickson Baseball Dictionary' - Washington Times". The Washington Times.
  7. ^ "Aaron and Tony Rudnick; Danny Thomas; Paul Dickson". Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. 22 May 1979. NBC.
  8. ^ Dickson, Paul (2006). Labels for Locals: What to Call People from Abilene to Zimbabwe. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 978-0-06-088164-1.

External links[edit]