Oxford Dictionaries

Articles by Oxford Dictionaries


sky

Weather idioms: sun, snow, sea, and sky

English is a language rich with weather idioms – right as rain, every cloud has a silver lining, and many others – but other languages obviously have their own special takes on phrases and proverbs relating to the weather. In this post, we take a look at idioms in other languages that deal with the sun, snow, sea, and sky.

Obama

Quiz: can you recognize these famous speeches?

Today (4 August) is Barack Obama’s 54th birthday! During his 2008 campaign for presidency, Obama was criticized by Hillary Clinton for his ‘well-versed’ speeches, i.e. that his public addresses were mere rhetoric without any substance. He responded to her claim, arguing that speeches held the power to inspire nations to believe in change: ‘Don’t tell […]

July WOTD quiz

Vocabulary quiz: how well do you know July’s Words of the Day?

Have you been paying attention to this month’s Words of the Day? Can you remember what a mesomorph is? Or what pyrophoric means? Take the quiz to find out if you can match the words to their correct definitions! Not yet signed up to our free Word of the Day service? Click here to receive your daily word. 

“Soon can mean in one second, Soon can mean in one year. Soon is a terrible word.” - Heinrich Böll

hatched chicken

Can you complete these phrases?

How well do you know common English phrases? Give our quiz a try and see if you can fill in the blanks.

wallace

Reflections on language by… David Foster Wallace

The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus included sections labelled ‘reflections’ by some notable writers, including Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace, and Joshua Ferris. In the second of an occasional series looking at these reflections, we’ve excerpted David Foster Wallace’s thoughts about various words. All the extracts below are by David Foster Wallace, and can be found in […]

Video: ‘I’ or ‘me’?

Saudade is a Portuguese words describing a feeling of missing someone or something, similar but not equal to nostalgia

7 foreign words you need to know

While Caroline James has already challenged the belief that there’s anything like an untranslatable word, we nonetheless felt inspired to explore the lexicon of foreign languages in search of interesting words that don’t have an exact equivalent in English. Such an endeavour can often yield amusing results, but also give insight into the peculiarities of […]

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