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Rare Word


What is a Rare Word?

A Rare Word is one that is not part of everyday language. There are approximately 10,000 words that the average person hears in a day — these are common words — the things we do, the places we go, the foods we eat… words that are relevant to our work and play, and local to our lives. Each person has an average of about 20,000 – 30,000 words in their own, personal vocabulary.

There are about 170,000 words in current use in our cultural vernacular; the words we use as a whole society. But there are over 1,000,000 words in the English language, which means that some words are much, much rarer to our eyes, our ears, and our minds, making them absolutely extraordinary in their scarcity.

Some words are no longer used because they simply are not applicable to modern life in the 21st Century. Others refer very specifically to singular concepts; ideas or things that may themselves be infrequent in our daily lives. And others, which we often refer to as jargon, describe the technical aspects of life that are relegated to certain knowledgeable insiders; terms for the study of the arts, sciences & humanities, which makes them colloquially obscure.

Calgary Reads, as champions of improved literacy, and purveyors of words both common and rare, have collated a list of rare words available for exclusive purchase. Proceeds from procuration serve the trinal purpose of raising

  • the general lexicon of our population,
  • awareness for the need of increased literacy skills, and
  • much-needed funds for our youngest users of words, our children.

You are about to become the proud steward of one such word. Congratulations!


Out of stock

We are currently only shipping Custom Order Rare Words — ones that have been collated against the list of Rare Words that have already been purchased, guaranteeing exclusivity. If you are in interested in checking the availability of a Rare Word for purchase, please contact