Gage Canadian Thesaurus


757 pages
ISBN 0-7715-1985-0
DDC 423'.1




Edited by T.K. Pratt
Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


“A thesaurus jogs your memory—it comes to your rescue as you
struggle to encapsulate an idea in a forgotten mot juste that hovers
tantalizingly at the tip of your tongue. It lets you gear your writing
to a certain audience by choosing simpler or more advanced vocabulary.
It may help you find the politically more sensitive equivalent for a
given term. A thesaurus is indispensable to the journalist, writer, and
reporter seeking precision with variety and freshness. It is also the
perfect tool for the player of word games and crossword enthusiast.”
As this excerpt from the preface makes clear, the editor of the Gage
Canadian Thesaurus is out to dispel the notion that a thesaurus is just
another boring reference book.

A maple leaf on the cover signals the book’s Canadian credentials. To
back up the flag-waving, Gage supplies 18,000 entries and their synonyms
using Canadian spellings. An accessible format and durable binding are
among the volume’s (intrinsically Canadian?) virtues.

At least one antonym is supplied for each word. Common phrases in which
the word might appear are also provided. Much thought has been given to
solving typical word-usage problems. Words with double meanings such as
bear (to carry) and bear (to breed) are given separate listings.
Incorrect usage is occasionally highlighted with a “confusable word”
marking. Finally, for those wordsmiths who can never quite distinguish
their “isms” from their “obias,” there are two handy appendixes
that list similar-sounding words by either prefix or suffix.

The Gage Canadian Thesaurus is a first-rate resource for all Canadians.


“Gage Canadian Thesaurus,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024,