David Brent The Office

The awkward language of David Brent and The Office

‘David, some words would be useful here’: a sentence of exasperation from Neil Godwin, David Brent’s nemesis in the mockumentary The Office, as he witnesses Brent’s bungling management metaphors and haplessly incomprehensible hand-gestures. As we know, David Brent actually has a lot of words, and most of them lead to podiacide, otherwise known as shooting […]

Read more »
upstander new words

Upstander, Turtle Island, and tink: an Oxford Dictionaries update

New words added to OxfordDictionaries.com come, as usual, from a wide variety of backgrounds and areas – from contemporary discussions of gender, to politics, to contemporary slang like CBA (‘can’t be arsed’) and douche canoe (‘an obnoxious or contemptible person’). Here are some of the most notable words entering the dictionary in this update… Gender […]

Read more »

Video: why do we call unwanted email ‘spam’?

Read more »
Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton in the OED

Can’t get – or afford – a ticket to Hamilton, the hit musical about US founding father Alexander Hamilton? Try the next best thing, for word lovers at least: Hamilton in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). A life in words Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) was one of the most important figures in early America. Soldier, lawyer, […]

Read more »
words ending in -cracy

60 words ending with –cracy

When you’re tracing the etymology of a word, you’ll find that many roads lead to Greek. A large amount of English word do have their origins in the Hellenic language, although they might’ve entered the English via other routes. We have already looked at words ending with Greek –phobia, so this time we turn our […]

Read more »
Twitter acronyms

Quiz: Twitter acronyms

If you live your best life on social media, there’s a possibility you’ll ace our quiz on Twitter acronyms and initialisms. If you’re still a bit cautious around social media, then some of these might trip you up… While you’ll see these all over the Internet, their popularity on Twitter means we didn’t have to look […]

Read more »
English words of French origins, and how to pronounce them correctly

English words of French origin and how to pronounce them

On 14 July 1789, the storming of the Bastille prison in the centre of Paris marked the beginning of the French Revolution. It was a major watershed in the history of Europe and is today still celebrated as a public holiday in France. The event gave the country a national motto as well: liberté, égalité, […]

Read more »
Unspun is a synonym for genuine or authentic.

Unspun, white knighting, and other words on our radar

2016 has so far been an exciting year for new words and phrases. Among the most recent additions to OxfordDictionaries.com are such colourful terms as phubbing (‘the practice of ignoring one’s companion or companions in order to pay attention to one’s phone or other mobile device’), dumpster fire (‘a chaotic or disastrously mishandled situation’), and […]

Read more »

Tweets