In bibliographies, the Bieya belongs to the category of books of "lesser learning" (Xiaoxue 小學), often translated as "lexicography". The 5-juan long book imitates the structure of the Classic glossary Erya 爾雅 (the title can therefore also translated as "The Erya of synonyms").
The Bieya specializes on disyllabic words (shuangyin 雙音) and their synonyms and alternative writings, like congsong 從頌 for congrong 從容 or fuyu 扶於, fushu 扶疏, fusu 扶蘇, fuxu 扶胥 for fushu 扶疎. The thesaurus of the Bieya is very rich and demonstrates that in everyday writing it was by no means sure which characters were standard and which not.
Wu Yujin made use of earlier collections, like Jiao Hong's 焦竑 (1540-1620) study Sushu kanwu 俗書刊誤, Zhou Boqi's 周伯琦 (1298-1369) Liushu zheng'e 六書正訛, and Fang Yizhi's 方以智 (1611-1671) Tongya 通雅. The Bieya itself was a model for Zhu Qifeng's 朱起鳳 (1874-1948) modern dictionary Citong 辭通.
There is a print from 1742 by Master Cheng's 程氏 Dujing Studio 讀經堂 which was reprinted during the Daoguang reign-period 道光 (1821-1850). An edition published by Xu Han 許瀚 (d. 1866) and called Bieya ding 別雅訂 is included in the series Pangxizhai congshu 滂喜齋叢書. The Bieya is also found in theimperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.