Etymology – How to check if your word was used in your historical setting (I check these sites and this book)

Online Etymology Dictionary

Google Books Advanced Book Search – I put the words or phrases I’m looking for and then in the ‘Publication Date’ area I input the time of my setting as the last possible date, then press Google Search. This will show me not only if that word/phrase shows up in books before that time period but if they used it in the manner I want to use it.

Google Ngram Viewer – You can get a quick idea if a phrase/word is used in what time period. It’s basically taking Google Books Advanced Book search and instead of showing you what it pulls up, it charts the frequency of use in old books.

English Through the Ages – this is the only book besides a big unabridged dictionary that I find useful for this.

Word Specificity

Feeling, Attitude, Emotion, and Heart Words

Self-Concept Words

Vocabulary of the Senses

This web site gives you different ways to say some common verbs.

Excellent “Thesaurus” for writers on this blog: The Bookshelf Muse or buy their books which have even more in them, I have all 3.

Reverse Dictionary

Here are three online tools to find words and phrases you overuse:

Word Frequency Counter

Phrase Frequency Counter

Wordle – shows most used words in a word cloud.


Story Toolz 

Write Rhymes

See my pages on:

Familial Nicknames through history