The Australian English phrase 'dry as a dead dingo’s donger' is used to convey extreme thirst.

Donkey-voters and dead dingo’s donger: a new edition of the Australian National Dictionary

A new edition of the Australian National Dictionary has just been published, updating the one-volume, 814 page 1988 edition, with 10,000 Australian words and meanings illustrated by 60,000 citations, to a two-volume, 1864 page work, with 16,000 Australian words and meanings illustrated by 123,000 citations. Read on to discover what has been added, and why. […]

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Sometimes, people ask me, “What’s your favorite swear word?” I don’t know why. Also, I don’t know what to say. I’m interested in profanity but not especially invested in one word over another. It’s not a competition. They all have their uses, or we wouldn’t use them. I’d have to say something like, “Well, Fuck! […]

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The compound ‘clickbait’ dates back to 1999 and signifies ‘content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to particular web page’.

These words will change the way you think of clickbait forever

It started with assistant professor Laura Seay, who mused in a tweet: ‘Thinking of changing the weekly headings on my syllabi to clickbait. “You won’t believe this one thing Britain & France did to Africa!” Seay continued riffing on the idea, and then it clicked: #ClickbaitSyllabus. Twitter quickly took to her hashtag, clever parodying the […]

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Nikki's reading the entire Oxford Canadian Dictionary. In this latest instalment of our occasional series, she talks us through the letters D – H.

On reading the Canadian Oxford Dictionary: the letters D through H

As part of an occasional series, guest blogger Nikki (@exitsideway) talks us through her ongoing project to read every word in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary in under a year. Discovering the Interesting It’s been half a year that I have been vigorously getting to know the bulky companion I have come to call ‘Bertie the […]

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An introduction to fandom vocabulary

Shipping, headcanons, and OTPs: an introduction to fandom vocabulary

Though fan communities have existed in the forms of zines, email lists, and online archives for years—decades!—it is only recently that the world of fan creations has been exposed to the glaring spotlight of mainstream media attention. If you’re new to the world of fandom, the jargon may flummox you; but Oxford Dictionaries can help! […]

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A unicorn is a start-up company valued at more than a billion dollars

Unicorns are real (but not what you think)

There has been a spate of unicorn sightings around the offices of Oxford Dictionaries recently. Don’t worry – we haven’t been overdoing it on the glitter and stardust. These unicorns come from the altogether more serious realm of finance. What is a 21st-century unicorn? In the world of big business, a unicorn is a start-up […]

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Video: is a jellyfish a fish?

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Did you know that ‘potato’ can be a verb? Discover the language of this versatile veggie in Courtney Shove’s guest blog post.

One potato, two potatoes: the linguistic and nutritional value of spuds

Plump, dirty, and riddled with dimples, the humble potato rarely gets the attention it deserves — unless, of course, Peru and Chile are arguing over who produced them first. I think potatoes should fill us with a sense of awe. Hear me out. Not only can they be scalloped, mashed, and French fried, but potatoes […]

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