a walking encyclopedia

(redirected from encyclopaedias)
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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).
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
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Speaking on the occasion, Ahmed Mansour Mohammed Ali, a judge of the Court of Appeal and the head of the Encyclopaedia Committee of the SJC, said, "This collection is intended to simplify the work of lawyers, judges and others working with the legislature.
This encyclopaedia should also help to prevent confusion and potential problems during legal proceedings, as it lists legal precendents which need to be taken into consideration or they will potentially lead to issues down the line, such as the annulment of a judgement or its appeal by a more knowledgeable lawyer." "Our hope is that anyone can use these references and thus become knowledgeable in legislative matters that affect them personally, such as rent, driving regulations and so on," noted Mohammed Khalifa al Kubaisi, a judge of the Primary Court and a member of the Encyclopaedia Committee.
It followed the publication of an encyclopaedia by the French philosopher Denis Diderot, which many people considered heretical.
Bookseller and printer Colin Macfarquhar joined forces with engraver Andrew Bell to start work on their own encyclopaedia, which they regarded as a more conservative version of Diderot's work.
Anderson enjoys writing his articles for the encyclopaedia, but he is keen to get other people involved as well: ``Other people are welcome - in fact encouraged - to contribute, either by adding details to articles or writing their own.
Anderson says: ``The problem as I see it is that there are two types of encyclopaedia - the large, generally authoritative ones, which charge money (whether for viewing multimedia or parts of their articles).
So Mr Latuske went home and spent hours pouring over the set of 24 leather-bound volumes of the encyclopaedia his mother keeps at her home in Telford.
She said: "When I started selling the Encyclopaedia Britannica more than 16 years ago, I know they were a great resource for a family, but I didnt realised quite how valuable they could be.
"But when I saw the entry in mum's encyclopaedia, the symptoms given were exactly the same as mine."
free, Internet-based encyclopaedia operating under an open-source management style.
The encyclopaedia, therefore, has been aimed at historical events, a few of which have been quoted alphabetically in three volumes.
Pity is, the next thing we did was to decide that the encyclopaedia would only carry entries on those no longer living so my Cale entry had to go.
En el amarillo lomo de cuero lei estas curiosas palabras que la falsa caratula repetia: A First Encyclopaedia of Tlon.
To counteract this Soviet disinformation and to publicize Ukrainian issues in North America, where the Ukrainian community was best organized, the Ukrainian National Association assumed the sponsorship of the updating and translating into English of Kubijovyc's thematic encyclopaedia. The resulting two volume Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopedia was published by the University of Toronto Press in 1962 and 1970.
Certainly, even today in the age of googling and social networking, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is considered to be one of the most prestigious references and resources for general information about almost any topic.