Oxford Dictionaries

Articles by Oxford Dictionaries


essay writing

4 things to do before you start writing an essay

As tempting as it might be to just launch into the process of writing, there are important steps to take before actually setting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as it were). These four steps in essay preparation should give you a solid footing before you start the essay-writing process. 1. Plan out your […]

white house

OED appeals: can you help us find earlier evidence of the word FLOTUS?

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, […]

david letterman late show

Top 10 teen movies … that are quoted in the OED

In saying goodbye to David Letterman this evening, we also say goodbye to one of his most-loved segments: the Top Ten list. In honor of Letterman, we have pulled together our own Top Ten. You already knew that the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) covers a wide swath of the English language, but you probably didn’t […]

Video: what is the origin of the word snob?

flower bouquet

Say it with flowers: floral expressions and phrases

With the opening of the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show, visitors from all over the world will once again flock to London in their thousands to keep up with the latest gardening trends and enjoy the vibrant colours of the flowers on display. But besides their obvious visual attraction, flowers can also be of particular […]

“Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are those that other people have lent me.” - Anatole France

polling station

WordWatch roundup: penny dreadful, psephology, cock-a-hoop, and bafflegab

Penny dreadful, noun: With the debut of the second season of the British-American television show Penny Dreadful on 3 May…

sixties TV

16 words from the 1960s

As the television show Mad Men draws to a close, we thought it might be fun to reflect on the contributions to language made by the turbulent decade of the 1960s. The legacy of the 1960s on language is not surprising, given the huge shifts in culture, including the Civil Rights movement, the apex of […]

Take our poll…

Tweets