Susie Dent

Lexicologist and etymologist

Susie Dent came to Somerville in 1983 to study Modern Languages. She went on to take a Master’s degree in German at Princeton. She began working for Oxford University Press, and shortly after that, she appeared for the first time on Channel 4’s Countdown. Since 1992, Dent has made over 2500 appearances in the show’s ‘Dictionary Corner’. She is the Honorary Vice-President of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP: formerly the Society for Editors and Proofreaders), and the author of How to Talk Like a Local (Arrow Books 2010).

Did you know? In her talk for Somerville’s 2020 series The Upside, Dent selected some of her personal ‘words of the year’, including ‘Mumpsimus’ (someone who insists that they are right, despite clear evidence that they are wrong), ‘Stiffrump’ (an obstinate individual) and ‘Empleomaniac’ (a person whose thirst for public power and office know no bounds).

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