Other Dictionaries

Included here:

1. Intelligence and Military Dictionaries

2. Language

3. Glossaries

4. Biographic

5. Non-U.S.

a. China

b. Russia

1. Intelligence and Military Dictionaries

Goldman, Jan. Words of Intelligence: A Dictionary. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2006.

Mc Ivor, AIJ 24 (2006), notes that this work provides over 600 terms relating to many aspects of intelligence work. It "serves as an invaluable source for those requiring rapid access to a working knowledge of intelligence-related terms and issues." For Peake, Studies 51.1 (Mar. 2007), too many of the terms included here do not apply to the intelligence profession, that is, they are generic terms with no special intelligence meaning. Also, many terms can be found in official publications, but the definitions in this work "do not match." Words of Intelligence is step toward a standard definition of intelligence terms, but additional work is needed.

Delp, DIJ 16.2 (2007), refers to the author's "concise definitions of the 'words' of intelligence" contained in this work. In addition, "Goldman provides many examples within the definitions, which gives the reader a richer comprehension of the term." The reviewer believes that knowledge of the "frequency or occurrence [of the terms] in the business of national security and intelligence would be useful."

To Peake, Studies 56.1 (Mar. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.2 (Summer-Fall 2012), the second edition is a "much improved" version, although there are still inclusions that do not belong and omissions of terms that should be included. The reviewer cautions readers "not to accept these definitions as final, although they are reasonable points of departure." Opstal, AIJ 30.1 (2012), finds that "Goldman includes useful idiomatic, anecdotal, and factual data about many terms in his lexicon. This information, coupled with ample sourcing records, allows the reader to pursue more in-depth study of specific intelligence topics."

Goulden, Joseph C.

1. [Writing as Henry S.A. Becket] The Dictionary of Espionage: Spookspeak into English. New York: Stein & Day, 1986.

Hood, IJI&C 1.2, sees the work as having "a little something for everyone. Old hands will bolster their egos by finding fault with some of the definitions; intelligence groupies will (at their peril) find slang enough to bewilder their unwary listeners; and historians will uncover odd bits of secondhand data, and more than a few serious errors."

2. The Dictionary of Espionage: Spyspeak into English. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2012.

For Srodes, Intelligencer 19.1 (Winter-Spring 2012), and Washington Times, 2 Mar. 2012, "this accessibly written book ... illuminates and defines much of the standard jargon of the Intelligence Community with refreshing asides about many of spying's urban legends." It also "gives the reader a useful grounding in the history of intelligence services generally."

Peake, Studies 56.3 (Sep. 2012), finds that "many [entries] are accurate, [but] some miss the mark." Regrettably, "the entries are not sourced and the bibliography is out of date." Although this "is a good place to start ... it is not comprehensive."

Phythian, Mark. Dictionary of Intelligence and Espionage. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2010.

From publisher: "While the focus is contemporary, entries on key intelligence cases ... offer important historical context. Each entry closes with suggestions for further reading."

Polmar, Norman, Mark Warren, and Eric Wertheim. Dictionary of Military Abbreviations. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1994.

Kruh, Cryptologia 19.1, comments that this dictionary "will benefit anyone bewildered by the widespread use of acronyms in military ... publications."

U.S. Department of Defense. DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. Joint Publication 1-02. 8 Nov. 2010, amended through 15 Apr. 2012. On Web at:

Contains terms, acronyms and abbreviations.

2. Language

Safire, William. "CIA-ese." In Safire's Political Dictionary, 115-118. New York: Random House, 1979. [Petersen]

, [Pseud. Joseph C.Goulden]

3. Glossaries

Burton, Bob. Top Secret: A Clandestine Operator's Glossary of Terms. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press, 1986.

Quirk, John P. FBI Glossary. Guilford, CT: Foreign Intelligence Press, 1988.

Shulman, David. A Glossary of Cryptography. New York: 1981. [Petersen]

Tunnell, James E., and Helen L. Sanders. Latest Intelligence: An International Directory of Codes Used by Government, Law Enforcement, Military, and Surveillance Agencies. [US]: Tab Professional Books, 1990.

Surveillant 1.2: This work provides the "meanings of more than 15,000 terms, phrases, abbreviations, and acronyms."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. "Glossary of Intelligence Terms and Definitions." In U.S. Congress. House. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Annual Report. 95th Cong., 2d sess. Washington, DC: GPO, 1978.

U.S. Department of Defense. Defense Intelligence College. Glossary of Intelligence Terms and Definitions. Washington, DC: DIC, 1987.

U.S. National Security Agency. Basic Cryptologic Glossary. Washington, DC: 1971. [Petersen]

4. Biographic

Dobson, Christopher, and Ronald Payne. The Dictionary of Espionage. London: Harrap, 1984. Payne, Ronald, and Christopher Dobson. Who's Who in Espionage. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984.

See below under Payne.

Mader, Julius. Who's Who in CIA. East Berlin: Julius Mader, 1968.

Petersen comments that this work was "[s]ponsored by German Democratic Republic." Brandt's NameBase review says that "Mader paints with a broad brush. He admits ... that his listings include former OSS, military intelligence (even during WW2), State Department personnel who have done 'work for CIA,' FBI counterintelligence, and also the occasional politician who sat on this or that intelligence committee. Generally when Mader includes a name, it's merely an indication that Mader found this person interesting for one reason or another, and further research and corroboration is needed before any conclusions can be drawn."

See Paul Maddrell, "What We Have Discovered about the Cold War Is What We Already Knew: Julius Mader and the Western Secret Services during the Cold War,” Cold War History 5, no. 2 (May 2005): 235-258.

Mahoney, M.H. Women in Espionage: A Biographical Dictionary. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1993.

Miller, IJI&C 8.2: "Mahoney has written a wonderful and marvelously interesting volume.... There are 151 biographies in the book..., and no female spies of note are omitted. Mahoney's coverage is remarkable, both in terms of time span and geography.... At least ten entries are from times preceding 1950 and from outside the United States.... There is excellent coverage of American history.... Mahoney's ... summarizations of his subjects' often involved and complicated lives and careers are exemplary.... This is an absolutely outstanding book."

Payne, Ronald, and Christopher Dobson. Who's Who in Espionage. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984. Dobson, Christopher, and Ronald Payne. The Dictionary of Espionage. London: Harrap, 1984.

NameBase: "The book consists of alphabetical biographies of over 200 famous names in espionage, each varying in length from two paragraphs to a page or more. The scope is broadly international, and the time frame is the Cold War period through 1982.... The descriptions are concise, well-written, and well-informed. The back of the book has 24 pages that describe the intelligence services of 17 countries."

Powell, S. Steven. Covert Cadre: Inside the Institute for Policy Studies. Ottawa, Ill.: GreenHill, 1987.

Valcourt, IJI&C 2.3, notes that this is a "reference guide to the ideological progressives who have had a remarkable impact on political dialogue and policymaking during the past two decades." People and organizations are named.


5. Non-U.S.

a. China

Lowe, Joseph D. [Col., Chinese Army, Ret.] Dictionary of Military Terms and Military Intelligence Phrases: Chinese-English and English-Chinese. [US]: Lowe Publications, 1992.

Surveillant 2.4: "Designed for the specialist."

b. Russia

Parrish, Michael. Soviet Security and Intelligence Organizations, 1917-1990: A Biographical Dictionary and Review of Literature in English. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1991. London: Meckler, 1991.

Surveillant 1.5: "A Who's Who of all Soviet security services since the Revolution, with a comprehensive bibliography."

Return to Reference Materials Table of Contents