Lexicographer and etymologist, Susie Dent, has crafted an entire career from her unswerving passion for words and her belief in the power, influence and effectiveness that rich and precise communication can bring.
She has been a mainstay of Countdown’s dictionary corner since 1992, with her famous etymological trivia and impeccable command of the English language. She is the longest-serving member of the show's current on-screen team, having first appeared in 1992, she has clocked up more than 2,500 appearances.
A writer and broadcaster on language, she recently celebrated 25 years as the resident word expert on Channel 4's Countdown, and also appears on the show's Jimmy Carr-hosted comedy sister, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. She has been Honorary Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proof Reading (CIEP) since 2016.
Susie Dent was educated at the Marist Convent in Ascot, an independent Roman Catholic day school, with a term at Eton College to study for Oxbridge entrance exams. She went on to Somerville College, Oxford for her BA in modern languages, then to Princeton University to gain a Masters in German.
A former Editorial Director for Oxford University Press, where she had just started working producing English dictionaries — having previously worked on bilingual dictionaries — when she was approached to appear on Countdown, Susie is an unequivocal expert in her field.
She comments regularly on TV and radio on words in the news. She has contributed to discussions on Radio 4's Woman's Hour,15x15, Word of Mouth, Saturday Live, More or Less, Today, and on Radio 5 Live's Breakfast and Drive programmes, and has been a regular panellist on R4's Wordaholics.
She has made guest appearances on many TV programmes including BBC Breakfast,Newsnight, This Morning, Test the Nation, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Not Going Out (in a swimsuit), and The One Show.
Susie answers notes and queries about words and phrases in weekly columns in the Radio Times and The Week Junior. She has written for the Independent on Sunday, the Telegraph, and the Times, and is the author of several books, including her latest, Dent’s Modern Tribes.
Previous corporate clients include AXA, The Gateway Alliance, Google, Adobe, King (makers of Candy Crush Saga) and MAG Interactive, all who have benefited from Susie’s unique take on the words we choose.