Katherine Connor Martin

Katherine Connor Martin

Katherine Connor Martin is Head of Content Creation at Oxford Dictionaries

Articles by Katherine Connor Martin


Phubbing refers to the practice of ignoring one's companion or companions in order to pay attention to one's phone or other mobile device.

How ‘phub’ made me eat my words

In the 2004 film Mean Girls, high school queen bee Regina George famously chastises one of her minions for using a slang term she has invented (fetch, meaning ‘cool’): Gretchen: That is so fetch! Regina: Gretchen, stop trying to make fetch happen! It’s not going to happen! One of the reasons this scene resonates is […]

Should we capitalize the word Internet?

Should you capitalize the word Internet?

The question of whether the word internet should be capitalized is so passionately debated and rife with controversy that it has its own Wikipedia article. The latest salvo in the capitalization wars came from the Associated Press Stylebook, which announced that as of June 1, the AP’s style will stipulate that internet and web (with […]

How brothers became buddies and bros

How brothers became buddies and bros

The Oxford English Dictionary’s (OED) latest update includes more than 1,800 fully revised entries, including the entry for brother and many words relating to it. During the revision process, entries undergo new research, and evidence is analyzed to determine whether additional meanings and formations are needed. Sometimes, this process results in a much larger entry. […]

'Trumpmentum' is one of the words dominating the 2016 presidential race; discover which other -mentums have cropped up over the years.

Word in the news: Trumpmentum

In the physical world, momentum is a measurement of the quantity of motion of a moving body (technically speaking, the product of its mass and velocity); as a ball rolls down a hill, its velocity increases, and we say that it “gains momentum”. Momentum is often used figuratively to refer to impetus or driving force, […]

dictionary examples

How are dictionary examples chosen?

We often receive queries about the example sentences on OxfordDictionaries.com. Some people assume that they are written by the lexicographers who produce the definitions, but in fact they are chosen from real-life examples collected on Oxford’s corpora—vast databases of text drawn from many publications, websites, and other sources. Oxford takes an evidence-based approach to lexicography, […]

All the candidates in the Republican field before a September 2015 debate

The undercard debate: emerging jargon in the 2016 Republican primaries

The vocabulary of American presidential politics is colorful and extensive, full of locutions like veepstakes, Super Tuesday, and purple state. The 2016 election cycle is already introducing new terms to the lexicon, to describe a novel phenomenon that has emerged this year—the doubleheader debate. With more than a dozen major Republican candidates vying to be […]

What is the origin of 'cold war'? George Orwell is part of the answer.

George Orwell and the origin of the term ‘cold war’

On 19 October 1945 George Orwell used the term cold war in his essay ‘You and the Atom Bomb’,  speculating on the repercussions of the atomic age which had begun two months before when the United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. In this article, Orwell considered the social and political implications of ‘a […]

The word manspreading was popularized by the MTA, although they they never officially used it.

Manspreading: how New York City’s MTA popularized a word without actually saying it

New York City, home of Oxford Dictionaries’ New York offices, has made numerous contributions to the English lexicon through the years, as disparate as knickerbocker and hip hop. One of Gotham’s most recent impacts was the popularization of manspreading, defined in the latest update of Oxford Dictionaries as ‘the practice whereby a man, especially one […]

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