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The 2009 English and Spanish editions of the NAL thesaurus and glossary of agricultural terms are online.

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"Hogget" Joins "Nekton"—and More—in New Glossary and Thesaurus of Agriculture

By Marcia Wood
January 15, 2009

Fans of the hit movie "Babe" will recall that "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 (NAL) 2009 editions of its classic glossary and thesaurus of the specialized vocabularies of agriculture.

The four reference works—the "Glossary of Agricultural Terms" and its Spanish-language counterpart, "Glosario de Términos Agrícolas," and the "NAL Agricultural Thesaurus" and Spanish "Tesauro Agrícola," are now available free of charge.

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 simply accessed online when needed.

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

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.

The glossary and thesaurus have an international following and are regarded as among the most authoritative resources of their kind.

NAL is part of the Agricultural Research Service, a research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.