Oxford Dictionaries

Articles by Oxford Dictionaries

South African English

How good is your South African English?

We’ve tested your knowledge of British English, American English, and Australian English – but how good is your South African English? You might know the word lekker or have heard the melodious toot of a vuvuzela, or have discovered that just now and now-now don’t really mean ‘now’… but how far does your knowledge of […]


Istanbul, not Constantinople: 13 cities that changed their names

Throughout history, many cities changed their names. Some did it for political reasons; others hoped to gain an economic advantage from it. Looking at a modern map of the world, you’d probably have a hard time finding Edo, Istropolis, or Gia Dinh. That is because these places are today known as Tokyo, Bratislava, and Ho […]

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” - Joan Didion  (1934– )


OED appeals: can you help us find earlier evidence of the term ‘lock-in’?

Can you help us? OED Appeals is a dedicated community space on the OED website where OED editors solicit help in unearthing new information about the history and usage of English. Part of the process of revising words and phrases for the OED involves searching for evidence of a word’s first recorded use in English, […]

waterbomb OED update

From ‘telly addict’ to ‘hoverboard’: an OED update

August saw a host of new words enter OxfordDictionaries.com – so this month, it’s naturally time for an OED update! In addition to revising and updating existing entries, lots of new words and phrases have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Have a look at some of our favourites below… Water baby, n. […]

scottish referendum

The Scottish independence referendum: one year on

This time last year, the British press (and, indeed, British conversation) was full of talk about the Scottish independence referendum. It took place on 18 September 2014, and was to determine whether or not Scotland should be an independent country – the alternative being remaining part of the United Kingdom. As discussion around the topic […]

GBBO infographic

The Great British Bake-Off Conversation

This year, we’ve gone even more technical than a technical challenge for The Great British Bake Off. Editors at OxfordDictionaries.com have been analysing the positive and negative language used by the judges in each episode so far, and we’re going to use our results to try to make our own predictions about what will happen […]

Video: what is the origin of the word ‘penguin’?