a walking encyclopedia

(redirected from Encylopaedia)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

a walking encyclopedia

A person who has a very large and detailed knowledge of a diverse array of facts and who can recite them when asked. Lily's like a walking encyclopedia when it comes to reptiles.

walking encyclopedia

A very knowledgeable person, as in Ask Rob-he's a walking encyclopedia of military history. A similar expression, a walking dictionary, was used by George Chapman in his poem "Tears of Peace" (c. 1600).

a walking ˈdictionary, encycloˈpedia, etc.

(informal) used to describe a human or living example of the thing mentioned: Geoff is a walking encyclopedia. He knows about everything.She’s a walking dictionary (= she knows a lot of words).
See also: walking

walking encyclopedia, a

An extremely knowledgeable individual. The term likens a person to a huge amalgamation of learning. One of the earliest versions of this cliché occurred in the poem “Tears of Peace” by George Chapman (ca. 1559–1634): “And let a scholar all Earth’s volumes carry, He will be but a walking dictionary.” In Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1869) Meg speaks admiringly of a man she considers “a walking encyclopedia.”
See also: walking
References in periodicals archive ?
The Encylopaedia Britannica articles by Bousset that Borges talks about are chock full of Gnostic "lore," a mother-lode of inspiration for Ficciones and El Aleph, whose pages pullulate with Gnosticism.
John Eddleston's lifelong interest in criminology has led him to write nine full-length works including The Encylopaedia Of Executions and Jack The Ripper - An Encyclopaedia.
This great door-stopper of a tome, which modestly bills itself as 'the world's greatest cooking encylopaedia' has been around in one form or another since 1938.
The laughable results were revealed yesterday in a survey of 500 people by Encylopaedia Britannica.
He's the walking, talking encylopaedia of Italian cookery (he'll tell you that himself), but don't call him a celebrity chef.
La mayoria de la segunda parte de "Tlon" consiste en una parafrasis de unos articulos que el narrador ha leido en el Onceno Tomo de A First Encylopaedia of Tlon.
That approach might be all very well for people with years of experience, whose heads are already an encylopaedia of plants.
Derived from the multi-volume International Encylopaedia of Laws, this monograph by Kryvoi (a lawyer with the dispute resolution department of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London, UK) describes the organization and activities of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a constituent organization of the World Bank Group that provides facilities for the arbitration for disputes between member countries and individual investors.
AN ancient encylopaedia with all its facts wrong could make almost pounds 1million at auction.
It was like ploughing through an awesome wine encylopaedia but we eventually plumped for a Riesling, expensive by our standards at pounds 33, but you could hardly ask for the house white.
Derived from the multivolume International Encylopaedia of Laws, this volume is an analytical introduction to contract law in the United States.
"The encylopaedias waver between London and Herefordshire," and although Anne Thackerary Ritchie in her DNB entry on the poet correctly listed her birthplace as Coxhoe Hall, Durham, John H.
Elizabeth Kraft's investigation into Charlotte Smith's The Young Philosopher and the contemporary desire for encylopaedias is enlightening.
In this form of presentation, it greatly differs from the Oxford Companions which are arranged like dictionaries or encylopaedias, with short descriptions of persons and topics in alphabetical order.