New glossary and thesaurus of agriculture available online


WASHINGTON — Fans of the movie Babe will recall “Hoggett” was the last name of film’s genial farmer. Farm-savvy filmgoers may recognize “hogget” — a slightly different spelling — as a word for lambs from weaning age to their first shearing.

Now “hogget” joins the legion of words like “quarg” (a soft, unripened fresh cheese) and “nekton” (actively-swimming aquatic organisms) included in the National Agricultural Library’s 2009 editions of its classic glossary and thesaurus of the specialized vocabularies of agriculture.

Reference works

The four reference works — the Glossary of Agricultural Terms and its Spanish-language counterpart, Glosario de Terminos Agricolas, and the National Agricultural Library Agricultural Thesaurus and Spanish Tesauro Agricola, are available free of charge at

These compilations encompass terms that have made their way into the lexicon of farming, food, nutrition, forestry and more than a dozen other ag-related topics, according to Lori J. Finch at the library.


Each can be downloaded to a personal computer or laptop, or accessed online.

The glossaries, which would each run about 500 pages if printed as books, provide short, helpful definitions of 2,500 terms.

Each thesaurus, individually the size of an 8,000-page book, offers synonyms for more than 68,000 terms.

Finch coordinated preparation of these editions, working with specialists at the library as well as with colleagues at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture.

Suitable for many

Though these compilations are primarily intended for indexers, programmers working with web search engines and others who gather and organize information, the glossary and thesaurus are also suitable for students — from fifth-grade up — as well for teachers, writers and people who work in agriculture.

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