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birthday words

8 words which share a birthday with the OED

On 1 February in 1884, the first instalment of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) was published. Containing 352 pages of dictionary entries, it covered the words from A to Ant. 44 years later the first edition of the OED was finished, comprising 125 of these fascicles. To celebrate the anniversary of the OED, we’ve drawn together some words which share a birthdate of 1884. The words below all have a current first known usage dating to 1884:



A person who lives in a town or city.



Love of birds. (obsolete.) Now: Pollination by birds.



A competitor (usually a person or horse) who sets the pace for one or more other competitors in a race. Also: a pacesetter or front runner.



That has been treated by manicure.



A British person.



A member of a criminal gang, esp. one involved in organized crime. Also in extended use: a person who uses illegal means (esp. violence and intimidation) to further his or her ends.



Of or relating to ‘the morning after’; spec. designating a symptom of or remedy for a hangover. Now also in extended use, with reference to any unpleasant aftermath of overindulgence, etc.

rain check


A ticket given to a spectator at an outdoor event (originally a baseball game) interrupted by or postponed because of rain, enabling the holder to attend a future event without further charge.

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