Em: Why are you sitting with such a fat book Emma? I could never read such big books.
Emma: It isn’t a book Em, it’s a dictionary, see.
Em: Oh! So, tell me which word are you looking for?
Emma: I am trying to find if there are any ghost words in it.
Em: Hahaha… did you just say ghost word? What is that? And if it is a ghost can you really find it? Does the word look scary? Ha ha.
What are ghost words?
Reason: Actually Em, you just answered your question. It is difficult to find a ghost word in a dictionary. But a ghost word is a word which doesn’t have any meaning and has been printed in the dictionary. These words are not used anywhere.
Emma: I know what Em is going to ask now..why put them in a dictionary in the first place?
Em: Exactly. Why print them if these words are not used anywhere?
Reason: Well, believe it or not…sometimes there are some words that have been printed in the dictionary due to a printing mistake or an error like typographical or linguistic confusion. There is one such fake word- dord, which made its way to Webster’s dictionary and remained there for five long years before being discovered.
Emma: There, can you see the ghosts now Em? Do they look scary to you? Eh?