Oxford Dictionaries

Articles by Oxford Dictionaries

Shakespeare's Globe

How Shakespeare spoke: Original Pronunciation, rhymes, and puns

We’re all familiar with at least some Shakespeare, but the chances are that we’ve only either read his words on the page, or heard them spoken with modern pronunciation. This, however, does not entirely match how Shakespeare and the original casts of his plays would have spoken. Even modern British English is not the same as what […]

California and the Oxford English Dictionary

California and the Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has worked with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Public Library to look at words in the Oxford English Dictionary that have come from California. From Valleyspeak to the language of the movies, the timeline highlights more than 150 terms which are first found in the Golden […]

How well do you know literary words?

A quiz of literary words

Poetry is traditionally characterized by the use of a more elevated, literary language intended to evoke emotion in the reader. Words like beseech or Rhadamanthine suggest a strongly poetic tone — but do you also know what they mean? See whether you can match the literary words with their correct definitions in the quiz below.

The language of Irish English

Explore the language of Irish English, from ‘gobdaw’ to ‘hooley’

Today is St Patrick’s Day, which seems a perfect excuse to not only go out for a few beers and perhaps a couple of glasses of usquebaugh, but also to take a closer look at some Irish English words. However you choose to celebrate today, whether you’re planning to dance your socks off at a […]

What is a mnemonic?

Antrim Coast and Glens

How good is your Northern Irish English?

Whether you’re a frequent visitor to Northern Ireland or have never been there, you should take time out of your day to see how good your Northern Irish English is. Those of you who’ve lived there have a distinct advantage… but anybody can enjoy trying to identify mutton dummy, oxtercog, cat melodeon, and more.  

words ending in ‘ster’

55 words ending in ‘ster’ you didn’t know you needed to know

Ask people to say words ending in ster and you might get hipster, prankster, jokester, or gangster. A handful of words formed by the addition of the suffix –ster are still in common use; with some, like spinster, the origin may no longer even be apparent, as the word no longer primarily means ‘a woman […]

Video: ‘enquire’ or ‘inquire’?