5 Cool Word Sites That Are A Bit Different

Saikat Basu 03-08-2011

As a blogger and writer, words hold special significance for me. It’s sometimes about discovering new words or finding out unknown meanings of the known ones; it’s also about going to the root of a word and searching out where it has branched to.


The numerous word sites available reflect this richness. We word lovers are better for it because it makes learning new words more fun.

The different type of word sites helps us explore the language in all its uniqueness. That also helps us fall in love with the language. My continuing search for cool word sites – regular or offbeat – has made me stumble on to some that most of us might miss among the crowd of the more popular ones.

Here are five more word based websites to explore and keep.


cool word site

It’s a web service which we have covered before. But a mention again is due because I find it immensely useful to construct a summary on any data that I paste on it. Any long piece of information is constructed around keywords, and WordSift usually manages to highlight the important ones. WordSift helps you to visualize the vocabulary structure of text by creating a tag cloud of important words. The bigger the word, greater is its frequency. You can sort the words and move them around with the mouse. Visual Thesaurus, the Google Images and video searches, and also the sample sentences help students create word associations.


Hot For Words

word sites

If words can be sexy, then this site shows how. The beautiful face behind the site belongs to Marina Orlova, a former model and now a linguist (more specifically, a philologist). Her YouTube series where she traces the origins of everyday English words is an internet sensation. The website complements her YouTube channel. The downside is that the site may not be suitable for kids. But it’s definitely the most entertaining word and vocabulary site out there.

What Does That Mean

word sites

WDTM is a question and answer site that’s devoted to words and their meanings. If you are confused over a word and its usage, maybe you can post your word problem here and wait for an answer from the community. You can contribute and earn ‘Karma points’ to move up the value chain on the site. The site is trying to build a free, community powered dictionary of English idioms, buzzwords, and catch phrases from around the world.


Tag Galaxy

word sites

Tag Galaxy is another cool word site that is more about visual representation of data than about words. But you can use it in some cool ways because every word you enter here becomes a keyword surrounded by related words. Oh yes, it’s all in a 3D-like photosphere with photos drawn from Flickr. The central word becomes the sun, and the related words turn into planets. You can spin the globe in any direction as it starts drawing in photo-tiles on its surface. Clicking on a photo enlarges it links to the original Flickr page. You can use it create interesting world associations combined with images.

Corpus of Contemporary American English [Broken URL Removed]

cool word site

The 425 million word strong collection is the largest currently available. The words have been collected from diverse sources – spoken, fiction, popular magazines, newspapers, and academic journals. It is constantly updated and has powerful search features which allow you to wade through the extensive collection. You can search using word, phrase, related words, substring, part of speech, synonyms etc. Word comparisons across different genres can be made for usage differences and context. Here’s a YouTube video that shows you how to get started with the corpus.


If you missed our previous collection of websites on words and vocabulary, fret not. Here are some:

That’s quite a collection. Tell us about your favorite word site.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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  1. Isha Singh
    August 7, 2011 at 4:26 am

    Interesting sites.  what does that means and tag galaxy took my attention. well, others are also cool.

  2. Ray Shive
    August 4, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I love sites like these. Excellent! And thanks.

  3. Cell Travis
    August 3, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I could use Word Sift, for sure... If you're looking to summarize long paragraphs and articles then Topicmarks and GistWeb are two sites worth looking into. For summarizing books and works of fiction, you could look at Shvoong.