A lexophile is a lover of words. Other words have been coined to describe people who are fascinated by words and language; logophile is another example of a word which might be used to the same effect. Whatever one calls them, lovers of words can sometimes turn their interest into a career in a field such as dictionary editing, while others may take up the study of words and compilation of interesting word lists as a hobby.
This word is derived from the Greek roots for “word” and “love.” Lexophiles may study words in any language, although many choose to focus on a specific language to pursue their interests. Some simply collect words which they think are unusual or interesting. Others may follow the history of language, the evolution of words in common use, and other language-related topics.
Many lexophiles are fond of word play. They may explore ways in which everyday words can sound or feel different in puns, or craft written compositions which play with unusual words they have discovered. A lexophile may collect obscure words or look for words with meanings which have changed dramatically since they entered the lexicon. Lexophiles can also study differences in regional dialects and slang, which can sometimes provide interesting illustrations of the way in which language has evolved.
There are a number of websites which have been set up for people who are interested in words. A lexophile can find bulletin boards filled with people who have like interests, along with word lists, information about events which may be of interest, and other materials. Connecting with people of similar interests may be of interest to many hobbyists.
There are a number of careers which can offer a lexophile an opportunity to explore words for a living. Dictionary work can be one area of interest, as dictionaries need writers and editors and offer an opportunity to do research on obscure words and shifts in language use. Writing and editing in general can provide people with ample opportunities to play with language, as can teaching, conducting research, and studying foreign languages.
People who are interested in pursuing careers related to words should be prepared to spend some time in school. Academic careers for a lexophile such as working on dictionaries usually require at least a masters degree. Writing and editing may not necessarily require higher degrees, although they can be helpful when starting a career, but they do require a great deal of practice and hard work.