a walking encyclopedia(redirected from encyclopaedia)
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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. Compared to most sixteen-year-olds, Sarah is a walking encyclopedia. She must read a lot in her spare time. What do I look like, a walking encyclopedia? How should I know what T.S. Eliot's initials stand for?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer