'Food coma' (what this cat is experiencing) was added to OxfordDictionaries.com

‘Food coma’ and other new words added to OxfordDictionaries.com

Our latest quarterly update to Oxford Dictionaries Online has seen a selection of new words, definitions, and senses added to the dictionary. The words originate in a range of spheres from food (branzino, cranachan) and music (beat-match) to astronomy (protoplanet) and, unsurprisingly, technology (lock screen, headcam), and include a variety of different word forms, from […]

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planets

Christopher Marlowe in the OED, from planeting to quinquangle

The works of Christopher Marlowe (the playwright, poet, and alleged spy) not only had an influence on William Shakespeare’s early historical plays, but also on the English language itself, as is evident from the number of times his works are quoted in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). His plays and poems are currently quoted a […]

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US Supreme Court

How do British and American attitudes to dictionaries differ?

For 20 years, 14 of those in England, I’ve been giving lectures about the social power afforded to dictionaries, exhorting my students to discard the belief that dictionaries are infallible authorities. The students laugh at my stories about nuns who told me that ain’t couldn’t be a word because it wasn’t in the (school) dictionary […]

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Alpine Skiing terms

8 Alpine skiing terms

Are you an avid schussboomer? Whether you get your thrills from whizzing down a snowy mountain on a pair of skis or your favorite part of skiing is sipping hot chocolate in the ski lodge, here are a few words you need to know to understand Alpine skiing during these Winter Olympics. Alpine skiing is […]

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Yiddish

English words of Yiddish origin: schmoozing, kvetching, and keeping schtum

An extract from the Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins. Yiddish, based on German dialect combined with words from Hebrew and Slavic languages, was spoken by Jews in central and eastern Europe before World War Two. It is still used in Israel and parts of Europe and the USA, especially New York, and has added an extra […]

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freestyle_skiing

9 words you need to know for freestyle skiing

Freestyle skiing is a ski discipline that incorporates tricks and jumps similar to those found in snowboarding and other sports that have at one time or other been classified as “extreme”.  At the Winter Olympics, 5 freestyle skiing events are competed: aerials, moguls, ski cross, and new to the 2014 Games, half-pipe and slopestyle. Here […]

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Do you know your Nordic skiing terms?

10 Nordic skiing terms

Let’s have a look at a small group of terms from the sport known as Nordic skiing. (Remember, it’s distinct from Alpine skiing.) Nordic skiing is categorized by events in which the heel of the skier’s boot is not fixed to the ski. Competition at the Winter Olympics consists of: cross-country skiing, ski jumping, biathlon […]

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OED Appeals: First World War words

OED Appeals: First World War words

To commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War (1914–18), the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is revising a set of vocabulary related to or coined during the war. Part of the revision process involves searching for earlier or additional evidence, and for this we need your help. Our first quotations are often […]

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