Oxford Dictionaries

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How many words begin with ‘x’?

Nothing is really known about the ultimate origin of the word elephant.

13 animal names and their meanings

Let’s take a look behind the meanings of some common animal names… Ostrich The bird’s name comes from a combination of the classical Latin avis, ‘bird’, and post-classical Latin struthio, strucio. The latter is derived from ancient Greek στρουθός (strouthos), which also means ‘sparrow’. The Greeks sometimes called the Ostrich στρουθοκάμηλος (strouthokamelos), literally ‘sparrow-camel’. Chameleon […]

Today’s appeals are looking specifically at a couple of words that are often used in Philippine English: kilig and teleserye.

OED appeals: can you help us find earlier evidence of ‘kilig’ and ‘teleserye’?

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, […]

Oxford Dictionaries for Children have chosen 'refugee' as the 2016 Children's Word of the Year.

Children’s Word of the Year 2016: refugee

Our Children’s Dictionaries department have announced the Children’s Word of the Year for 2016: refugee. The word was chosen after analysing the entries to the 2016 BBC Radio 2 500 WORDS competition, in which young people age 5-13 were invited to compose an original work of fiction on any subject or theme, using no more than 500 words. This […]

Add oil is an expression that has gained a lot of currency in Hong Kong in the last few years.

OED appeals: can you help us find earlier evidence of ‘shroff’ and ‘add oil’?

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, […]

books with numbers in the title

Quiz: books with numbers in the title

If you’re a book lover, it’s quite possible that, at some point, people have assumed that you’re into words and not numbers. Well, plenty of people like mathematics and literature — and even if you largely count with your fingers, or use the calculator on your phone more than anything else, then you’ve probably found […]

How many words are there in the English language?

Country name origins

An A-Z of country name origins

We’ve taken on an ambitious task today: we’re looking at the origin stories behind the names (in English) of every single country in the world – using the list of countries as determined by the UN and information from the Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, discover surprising and intriguing language […]

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