Beyond Words - Language Blog

10 Affordable Gifts for Language Lovers

If you have language lovers on your holiday gift list, and you’re still not sure what to get, here are 10 affordable suggestions that are sure to inspire a smile.

Chances are that your language lover already has a formidable stack of great dictionaries and other reference materials, so our list includes funky items from off the beaten path. Besides, reference books are expensive. Times are tight, so everything we’ve listed costs under $25.00.

Slang Flashcards

The best way to keep up with the ever-evolving parlance of our time is to continuously train using Slang Flashcards.

And, if the language lover on your list is more of a word historian, then she’ll probably find the Vintage Slang Flashcards to be the bee’s knees.

Foreign Language Poetry Magnets

Fridge magnets are a great way for polyglots to get their kicks in the kitchen. They can also be a fun way to practice that language you’re currently learning. offers packs of magnets in English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, and even Sign Language.

Mad Libs

You may remember Mad Libs. Well, they’re still around, and today you can find a fun Mad Lib collection that caters to almost any person, from Dysfunctional Family Therapy Mad Libs to the classic Best of Mad Libs.

Funny T-Shirts has the perfect T-shirt for any language lover. If you love a translator, a poet, a linguist, or a militant grammarian, chances are that you’ll find the perfect expression on a classic T.

Translator Thong

If you know a translator, then you know a person who needs a Translator Thong! The online retailer, Cafe Press, offers a thong for every occasion and every occupation, so if your language lover is a linguist, a teacher, or an editor, he or she can have the perfect thong for a mere $12.99.

Shakespearian Insult Mug

Perhaps you have to gift a grinchy friend or office mate? Well, no one ever laid down a better burn than the Bard, and this tongue-in-cheek coffee mug could make those snarky language lover’s hearts grow a few sizes this Christmas.

Helvetica (Documentary)

At first glance, a three hour long documentary about a font may sound more like a punishment than the perfect gift, but director Gary Hustwit skillfully weaves this tale of language, typography, and art into a passionate and thought provoking must-see for any language lover.

Chocolate Letters

Brooklyn designers Mary and Matt created the awesome Chocolate Scrabble bar last year, but have moved on to new projects. Perhaps with a little prodding and some strength in numbers, we can get these bars back on the shelves. If not, there’s plan B: You can create your own chocolate letters for the language lover with these affordable Alphabet Candy Molds.

Literary Shot Glasses

If you know someone who would agree with Oscar Wilde’s suggestion that, “work is the curse of the drinking class,” then this set of Great Drinkers shot glasses from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild might appeal.

Language Books
No list of gifts for language lovers could possibly leave out books, so here are just a few good titles from 2008. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but could get the wheels turning for your search.

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. Book (and audiobook) based on the popular Grammar Girl podcast. Great fun for students and snoots alike.

The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature — latest title by the popular linguist and philosopher Steven Pinker. Will appeal to anyone interested in pop-linguistics, or how language reveals things about the human mind.

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation – novel by M.T. Anderson written in 18th Century academic language. A fascinating read for people interested in language evolution and American History. It’s excellent for young readers as well.

If you can think of any other good suggestions, feel free to add them in the comments box. Happy shopping!