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Virginia Woolf quotations

5 beautiful Virginia Woolf quotations

25 January 1882 was the day on which Virginia Woolf was born. To celebrate the birthday of the renowned novelist, essayist, and feminist icon, we’ve taken a look in Oxford Essential Quotations to pick out some of her most memorable moments. “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” […]

pies and cakes in English idioms

Pies and cakes in English idioms

It is assumed that the word pie came into English via Old French, from Latin pica ‘magpie’, which in turn is related to picus ‘green woodpecker’. Here, the allusion is perhaps to the various combinations of ingredients of a pie being comparable to the objects randomly collected by a magpie. Its sweet equivalent, the cake, on the other […]

National Hugging Day

14 ways to hug

Did you know that 21 January was National Hugging Day in the United States? It was created in 1986 and has spread to many other countries in the world – so we encourage you, if others don’t mind, to hug at least one person today. But what if you get tired of the word hug […]

Video: ‘that’ or ‘which’?

Quiz: Shakespeare and sex

Quiz: Shakespeare and sex

Look, we all remember the days when you’d read something saucy in Shakespeare and snigger to yourself in the classroom. We can all be mature about this, and admit that the Bard could be bawdy: there is plenty of sex in Shakespeare. But who said what? We’ve taken some of Shakespeare’s more notorious quotations about […]

on fleek

Video: adding on fleek to Oxford Dictionaries

You might remember that on fleek was on the shortlist for Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015, and both fleek and on fleek were added to OxfordDictionaries.com last year, meaning ‘extremely good, attractive, or stylish’. It offers great examples of the challenges and opportunities for lexicographers looking at digital communication and new viral slang, as Oxford Dictionaries lexicographer Katherine […]

“Writing, when properly managed […] is but a different name for conversation.” - Laurence Sterne  (1713–1768)

words that defined 2015 part two

From austerity to refugee: the words that defined 2015, part two

In late December, we took a look at satire, transgender, and other words that defined the first six months of 2015. Here’s the second and final part of our end-of-year roundup. austerity July The ongoing drama of the troubled Greek economy entered its final phase in the month of July this year when the governing […]

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