Susie Dent

British Lexicographer and Etymologist
Quiz Gameshow Host

Susie Dent Gameshow Host


Susie Dent is a well-known figure in British television, primarily recognized for her role as the permanent lexicographer on “Countdown.” Her presence in “Dictionary Corner” alongside a celebrity guest has made her a beloved and integral part of the long-running quiz show.

Early Life

Born on November 19, 1964, in Woking, Surrey, Susie Dent developed a passion for words and language from an early age. Her fascination with etymology, the study of the history and origins of words, led her to a career as a lexicographer. Dent’s academic pursuits were focused on the English language, and her profound knowledge of words and their meanings would serve her well in her future role on “Countdown.”

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Susie Dent’s claim to fame is undoubtedly her role as the permanent lexicographer on “Countdown,” a popular British quiz show. “Countdown” is unique in its format, combining elements of word games and mathematical challenges. Contestants compete to form the longest word possible from a selection of letters, along with solving numerical puzzles. 

As the lexicographer, Dent is stationed in “Dictionary Corner.” Her primary responsibility is to validate words submitted by contestants, ensuring they adhere to the game’s rules and come from the show’s recognized dictionary source. Beyond this crucial task, she also provides linguistic insights, fascinating word origins, and anecdotes to the show’s audience.

Amstell’s influence on the show extended beyond the screen, as he became synonymous with its success during his tenure. His memorable moments, such as his legendary clashes with Preston from The Ordinary Boys or his playful banter with the regular team captains Bill Bailey and Phill Jupitus, are etched into the annals of British television history.

Legacy and Impact

Susie Dent’s legacy on “Countdown” is characterized by her dedication to the English language, her role in maintaining the game’s integrity, and her ability to educate and entertain the show’s viewers. Her presence in “Dictionary Corner” has elevated the program’s linguistic aspects and helped to promote a broader understanding of word origins and meanings.

Beyond her contributions to “Countdown,” Dent has become a recognizable figure in the world of language and lexicography. Her passion for etymology and her ability to share the stories behind words have made her an ambassador for language enthusiasts.


Susie Dent’s enduring role as the permanent lexicographer on “Countdown” has made her a prominent figure in British television. Her love for words, etymology, and language education has not only enriched the quiz show but has also left an indelible mark on the hearts of those who appreciate the beauty of the English language. Susie Dent’s legacy extends beyond the television screen, inspiring audiences to explore the fascinating world of words and their origins.