Susie Dent (born 1964/1965) is an English lexicographer and etymologist. She has appeared in "Dictionary Corner" on the Channel 4 game show Countdown every year since 1992. She also appears on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, a post-watershed comedy version of the show presented by comedian Jimmy Carr. She has been Honorary Vice-President of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) since 2016.
Dent on Countdown in 2012
1964/1965 (age 54–55)
Woking, Surrey, England
|Education||Marist Convent, Ascot, Berkshire|
|Alma mater||Somerville College, Oxford|
|Occupation||Lexicographer and television presenter|
|Known for||Countdown (1992–present)|
Early life and education
Born in Woking, Surrey, Dent was educated at the Marist Convent in Ascot, an independent Roman Catholic day school. She went on to Somerville College, Oxford for her B.A. in modern languages, then to Princeton University for her master's degree in German.
Dent's first job was as a waitress, as she explained on the 18 December 2018, episode of Countdown. At the time she began work on Countdown in 1992, she had just started working for the Oxford University Press on producing English dictionaries, having previously worked on bilingual dictionaries.
Television and other work
Dent is well known as the resident lexicographer and adjudicator for the letters rounds on Channel 4's long-running game show Countdown. On each episode, she also provides a brief commentary on the origin of a particular word or phrase. Dent is the longest-serving member of the show's current on-screen team, having first appeared in 1992; she has made over 2500 appearances. While she was on maternity leave over the winter of 2007–08, she was replaced as lexicographer by Alison Heard. She also works on the spin-off show 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.
Dent appeared as herself in an episode of the BBC sitcom Not Going Out.
Dent presented a web series for Channel 4 titled Susie Dent's Guide to Swearing where she explored the etymology and history of a number of English swear words. She has also made an appearance on BBC entertainment show Would I Lie to You?. In 2018 she also appeared on five episodes of House of Games, a panel show hosted by Richard Osman.
In 2019, Dent launched the podcast Something Rhymes With Purple, co-hosted with Gyles Brandreth.
From 2003 to 2007, Dent was the author of a series of annual Language Reports for the Oxford University Press (OUP). The first was titled simply The Language Report, and this was followed by Larpers and Shroomers (2004), Fanboys and Overdogs (2005), The Like, Language Report for Real (2006) and The Language Report: English on the Move 2000 – 2007 (2007). The format of this publication was revised for 2008 as an A–Z collection of new and newly resurrected words. It was published in October 2008 as Words of the Year (ISBN 9780199551996).
In 2005 the same publisher issued Winning Words (ISBN 0199198748) and in 2009 What Made the Crocodile Cry? 101 questions about the English language (ISBN 0199574154). Dent's book about dialects, How to Talk Like a Local (ISBN 1905211791), was published in March 2010.
- "Susie Dent interview". Oxford voices. BBC. 2005. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "In Dictionary Corner with Countdown's Susie Dent, the 'dominatrix' of words". Radio Times. 8 November 2016.
- "Honorary members". www.sfep.org.uk.
- Times Educational Supplement; 1 August 2008
- Oppenheimer, Jeni (8 June 2009). "Channel 4's Countdown supplies Susie Dent with 'extra ideas' via earpiece". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Jessop, Miranda (13 December 2016). "Interview with Susie Dent". Essential Surrey & SW London.
- The Countdown Page on lexicographers.
- "8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown". Channel 4. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- 22:35. "BBC One - Not Going Out, Series 8, Hot Tub". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
- Butcher, David. "Not Going Out - what time is it on TV? Episode 4 Series 8 cast list and preview". Radiotimes.com. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
- "Susie Dent's Guide to Swearing - All 4". Channel4.com. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
- 23:55. "BBC One - Would I Lie to You?, Series 11, Episode 4". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
- Khan, Introduction: Grace Dent Interviews: Coco; Parkinson, Hannah Jane (8 June 2019). "'There's no such thing as an overshare': meet the hosts of Britain's most candid podcasts". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
- "Books by Susie Dent - goodreads.com". Retrieved 2 April 2018.