Allison Wright

Allison Wright

Allison Wright is an editor for US Dictionaries at Oxford University Press.

Articles by Allison Wright


How well do you know the language of handwriting?

Handwriting is usually qualified in one of two ways — good or bad. But in actuality there is much more to it, and taking a look at the language associated with what the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines as ‘the practice of writing by hand’ reveals an elaborate history of one of the most fundamental […]

election terminology

Which words did you look up this election season?

As the fervor surrounding the US midterms winds down and election fatigue settles in, we take one final look at the words that piqued your interest this week. The above chart shows the most popular terms related to elections, government, and politics on 4 November (Election Day) and 5 November. The size of the […]

bread idioms

The greatest thing since bread idioms

When it comes to offering both nutritional and linguistic value, no food is more nourishing than good ol’, plain ol’ bread. For centuries, bread has been a symbol of the ultimate sustenance – and bread idioms and proverbs further emphasize its dual status as a provider of life and a measure of how well that […]


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 […]

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 […]

Do you know your speed skating terms?

8 speed skating terms

Speed skating at the Olympics is divided into two separate competitions: long track speed skating (which is usually just called “speed skating”) and short track speed skating. The size of the short track is generally equal to that of an ice hockey rink, while the long track size is more akin to an outdoor track […]

Have a look at our list of ice hockey terms.

10 ice hockey terms

Ice Hockey is the official winter sport of Canada. The first men’s tournament was played in the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, while the first women’s tournament followed almost 80 years later at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. Here are 10 ice hockey terms you need to know: 1. body check (n.) – […]

12 snowboarding terms you need to know

12 snowboarding terms

Snowboarding made its first appearance at the Winter Olympics in 1998, after over 30 years of growing interest as a competitive sport. It has inherited both athletic and linguistic elements from its older cousins on land, sea, and snow—skateboarding, surfing, and skiing, respectively. Here are 12 words you need to know: 1. big air (n.) A […]