Stuart Berg Flexner


Stuart Berg Flexner (1928–1990) was a lexicographer, editor and author, noted for his books on the origins of American words and expressions, including I Hear America Talking and Listening to America; as co-editor of the Dictionary of American Slang and as chief editor of the Random House Dictionary, Second Edition.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Flexner was the son of David Flexner and Gertrude Berg. He was twice married, first to Miriam Bogen and then to Doris Louise Hurcomb.


  • How to Increase Your Word Power (1971)
  • Family Word Finder: A New Thesaurus of Synonyms and Antonyms in Dictionary Form (1975)
  • I Hear America Talking: An Illustrated Treasury of American Words and Phrases (1976)
  • Listening to America: An Illustrated History of Words and Phrases from our Lively and Splendid Past (1982)
  • Dictionary of American Slang, with Harold Wentworth (editions 1960, 1967, 1975)
  • Oxford American Dictionary, with Eugene H. Ehrlich, Gorton Carruth, Joyce M. Hawkins (1980)
  • The Random House Thesaurus, with Jess Stein (1984)
  • The Pessimist's Guide To History : An Irresistible Compendium Of Catastrophes, Barbarities, Massacres And Mayhem From The Big Bang To The New Millennium, with Doris Flexner (1992) 2nd edition (2000) 3rd edition (2008)
  • The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, Second Edition, editor (1987)
  • Wise Words and Wives' Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New, (1993)
  • Speaking Freely: A Guided Tour of American English from Plymouth Rock to Silicon Valley, with Anne H. Soukhanov (1997)


  1. ^ McDowell, Edwin (December 5, 1990). "Stuart Berg Flexner, 62, Editor Of Random House Dictionaries" – via

External linksEdit

  • 1987 audio interview with Stuart Flexner at Wired for by Don Swaim