Katherine Barber


Katherine Barber

Katherine Barber, well-known lexicographer and winner of the June 2000 Distinguished Alumni Award, graduated from The University of Winnipeg in 1986 with an Honours BA in French Literature. Subsequently, she taught English conversation in Rouen, France, French at The University of Winnipeg, and translation at the University of Ottawa, where she also completed an MA in Lettres français.

Barber’s fascination with Canadian English led her to a career working on a number of Canadian dictionaries. Since 1991, she has been Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, which appeared on the Globe and Mail bestseller list for over a year.  This dictionary also received Non-Fiction and Specialty awards in 1999 from the Canadian Booksellers Association. With regular appearances on CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning” show in Toronto and her series on Canadian words for CBC Television’s “The Magazine,” she has become known nationally as “the word lady.”

Taking in stride her interviews with Reuters, the BBC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and CBS, Barber jokes that her mission in life is “to convince people that there is more to Canadian English than ‘eh’.” Her service to the Canadian public has been exceptional.