Julia Callaway

Julia Callaway works in Social Media at Oxford University Press

Articles by Julia Callaway

American cookies or English biscuits? (Or both?)

Biscuit or cookie?

“England and America are two countries divided by a common language.” So said George Bernard Shaw (allegedly). Much has been written about words that are chiefly used in one country or the other (for example, eggplant in the US and aubergine in the UK), but there are also words that exist in both countries but […]

April Fool's Day

True or false? An OED quiz

We’re not usually in the business of fooling our readers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun. We’ve compiled some of our favourite language-related facts from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), including weird words, bizarre origins, and unexpected sources, and sprinkled in a few made-up “facts” of our own to make a tricky quiz. […]

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 […]

Do you know your curling terms?

10 curling terms

Curling, for those who don’t know the sport, is one of those curious things that is equally captivating as it is baffling. Although the sport dates back to Medieval Scotland (the first citation for the word curling in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1638), curling in its current form is a relatively recent phenomenon, […]


The language and influences of the early Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan, the singer-songwriter, music producer, and writer born Robert Allen Zimmerman on 24 May 1941, has been one of the most influential figures in popular music and culture since the release of his first album in 1962. There is no systematic way of analysing Dylan’s song lyrics or poems; they span more than five decades […]


From lamingtons to sandwiches: looking at eponymous foods

For some, Anna Pavlova is considered one of the greatest ballet dancers in history. For others, her legacy lives on in the form of the dessert she inspired. We celebrate her birthday on 31 January (by the Old Style of dating; her actual birthday according to the Gregorian calendar would be 12 February), and in […]

The Nutcracker

Silver houses and marmalade castles: interpreting The Nutcracker

In 1892 the curtains rose at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg for the premiere of a new ballet. With a score by Tchaikovsky and choreography by Marius Petipa, the ballet was set to be a hit. After all, the pair had produced The Sleeping Beauty, which was hugely successful, just two years earlier. But […]

Do you know all of these cake facts?

12 word facts about cake

Cake, in one form or another, has been around for centuries. From its humble beginnings as a flattened, hardened bread, the concept of ‘cake’ has changed significantly to become an essential part of British culinary identity. Here at Oxford Dictionaries, we love a bit of etymology to go with our cake, and today we share […]