Cast your mind back to your twelve-year-old self stuck in the classroom on a Friday afternoon in the middle of a French lesson. (Or German, or Spanish, for that matter.) If you grew up as a native monolingual English speaker, what was the thing you struggled with the most when learning a foreign language? Was […]
Did you know that the Oxford Language Dictionaries Online Words of the Day are handpicked by teams of editors who scour the dictionaries looking for a little quirkiness to brighten up your day? Or that you can easily sign up to receive these Words of the Day by email in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, […]
We were lost – having turned off a brand new and completely empty motorway that cut across the lush green hills of the West coast of Ireland in a quest to visit my Irish mother’s third cousins twice removed. So we finally pulled up next to an old road sign, which confusingly said: ← Knockroe Knockroe […]
Try this experiment: think of a word, any word, that we use regularly in English which has clear Italian origins before reading on. Ready? It’s more than likely you’ve come up with a gastronomic term – a snap poll I took last week placed pizza, spaghetti, and cappuccino as front runners (along with ciao, which […]
Just a few weeks ago Christine Lindberg explored phrases and idioms that revealed the somewhat surprising way in which the English language describes man’s best friend. But what about that equally popular household pet – the beloved, fluffy, crazy cat? (Those three adjectives are among some of the most popular in the English language to […]
If you didn’t already know, this Friday is Earth Day, an environmental awareness day celebrated around the world each year on 22 April since 1970. The Earth Day Network is looking for a billion separate ‘acts of green’ to be pledged and carried out by individuals aiming to reduce their carbon footprint and to promote […]
- OED birthday word generator: which words originated in your birth year?
- Affect versus effect
- Which classical character are you?
- Grammar myths #2: please miss, can I start a sentence with a conjunction?
- Which Charles Dickens character are you?
- The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013 is…
- Lie or lay? Laying down the law on some puzzling verbs
- Which Jane Austen character are you?
- Compliment or complement?
- Rein or reign? Hold your horses before applying pen to paper…
- How do British and American attitudes to dictionaries differ?
- How can World Englishes benefit from crowdsourcing?
- Make mine a double: speaking of twins
- Farmily album: the rise of the felfie
- Language review 2013: from bitcoin to sharknado
- Infographic: a closer look at ‘selfie’
- What the Romans did for us: English words of Latin origin
- Why did Tolkien use archaic language?
- Sister-in-laws, sisters-in-law, or sisters-in-laws?
- From Boris Johnson to Oscar Wilde: who is the wittiest of them all?
Flaunt or flout? Remember: flaunt and display with an ‘a’; flout and ignore with an ‘o’. oxford.ly/wvGxWF
If you have hippophobia, which animal do you have an extreme of irrational dislike of? oxford.ly/1g4HoTL
Word of the Day: orotund - (of a person's voice) resonant and imposing... oxford.ly/PnQ82w