It's Thesaurus Day!

At TBSJ, our subject matter experts understand the importance of choosing the perfect word to deliver the appropriate meaning and nuance in a translation. For us, language knowledge is paramount in delivering a high-quality service. That’s why we are among the millions of translators, linguists, editors, writers, teachers and language lovers who are celebrating Thesaurus Day today!

Thesaurus Day is marked globally on January 18th, the birthday of the father of the first modern English thesaurus, Dr Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869). A British physician, natural theologian and lexicographer, Roget spent years of his working life creating lists of words for his reference. After his retirement, in 1840, he reviewed his expansive collection and decided to put together a compilation of the words.

Roget is believed to have begun work on the first thesaurus in 1848. Six years later, in 1852, he published the 15,000-word work under the title, Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition. Up until his death, he continued to update and revise it, delivering another 28 printings.

The work become a family affair. It was revised and expanded by Roget’s son, John Lewis Roget (1828–1908) and later by John’s son, Samuel Romilly Roget (1875–1953). Today, the most recent edition of the book contains about 443,000 words.

Derived from the Greek word, thesauros, meaning stored-up treasure, the thesaurus is aptly named. Wordsmiths the world over praise the resource for offering a wealth of language options that empowers people to express themselves with precision and flair. TBSJ translators are among those celebrating today, as they appreciate the need for great understanding of, and attention to, language.   

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