Jonathan Dent

Jonathan Dent is a senior assistant editor on the OED.

Articles by Jonathan Dent


red carpet

Vlogging, celebrity gossip, and a bit of how’s your father: updates to the OED

This March’s update to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) finds us — as ever — with neologisms and newly researched and published entries for words and phrases from the whole history of the English language coming at us from all sides. With ranges including brother, call, celebrity, difference, father, foot, get, luck, and video, there’s […]

Granny chic, Mx, and the Bank of Mom and Dad: new words in the OED

Granny chic, Mx, and the Bank of Mom and Dad: new words in the OED

It’s December, and time for another quarterly update to the Oxford English Dictionary. Fully revised and expanded entries for major items like control, fire, lock, truth, and way and from elsewhere across the alphabet bring with them around 1,000 new entries, compounds, phrases, and senses. New words added in this quarter’s update stretch from the […]

OED update notes

Words from all over the lot: notes on the OED update

It’s OED update time again, and as usual, we’ve got words from all over the lot for you, from a new-old sense of waterbuck (meaning an aquatic insect, possibly a pond-skater), recorded in a single thousand-year-old quotation, to a sense of waterball (‘a transparent inflatable sphere which can be propelled across water by a person […]

interweb

Capturing the interweb of words: more notes on the OED update

‘Have you heard of this new inter-web thingy?’ one character sarcastically asks of another  in a quotation recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary’s new entry for Interweb. The humorous power of this self-consciously incorrect mashup of a word lies in the fact that for many of us in 2015, the World Wide Web is often […]

snow

The white stuff: notes on the OED update

It’s that time again, when we bring you the very latest in additions to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), and, as usual, we have lexicographical facts and figures coming out of our ears. This quarterly OED update contains around 500 new words, phrases, and senses, spanning a period of nearly 1,100 years in the history […]

camera

Words in the news: revenge porn

Last week, an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 made the sharing of what has become known as ‘revenge porn’ illegal in England and Wales. We’ve heard a great deal over the last three or four years about the growing problem of disgruntled former partners distributing revealing or sexually explicit photographs or […]

bitcoin_large

G’day, bitcoin, and un-PC: notes on the OED update

Links to OED.com entries in this post have been made available for a limited period. The online Oxford English Dictionary, at OED.com, is a subscription site; you can read the OED help pages for information about subscribing or how to access the site via an institution or your local library. G’day. It seems like the […]

felfie

Farmily album: the rise of the felfie

Words are patient things. They need to be: language change is often a slow process, measured, for the most part, in centuries and not months. A new word (a neologism), whether it enters English as a loanword, a borrowing from another language, or whether it is formed within English from pre-existing words and affixes, usually […]

Tweets