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New Zealand English

How good is your New Zealand English?

Do you know your hangi from your hongi? New Zealand English is the latest in our series of quizzes testing your knowledge of World Englishes: we’ve asked about British, American, Indian, Australian, South African, Northern Irish, and Canadian English, so it’s about time that we paid a visit to our Kiwi cousins. Whether you’ve visited New Zealand or […]

happy and sad face

Laughing, crying, and disgust in languages around the world

Interjections like oh!, ah!, or phew! are natural ejaculations expressive of some feeling or emotion.  They are so called because they’re interjected (from Latin inter- ‘between’ and jacere ‘to throw’) between sentences, clauses, or words, mostly without grammatical connection. Although the interjection is often imitative, it is quite different from the onomatopoeia, which is the formation of a word […]

The Merchant of Venice

Quiz: how well do you know Shakespeare’s language?

Do you fancy yourself something of a Shakespeare scholar? Can you separate falchion, scimitar, and poniard? Our friends in Children’s Books have put together a tough little quiz about the language of Shakespeare, so we wanted to share it and test OxfordWords readers. How will you do? William Shakespeare was an English dramatist, poet, and actor who is often […]

Use these medical pronunciations to avoid being embarrassed at the doctor's office

Avoid embarrassment at the doctor’s office

There’s really nothing worse than pronouncing an obvious word incorrectly – especially when you do it in front of someone who’s an authority on the word. The doctor’s office is one of many places where we find ourselves in this sort of situation. Let’s have a quick look at some words that may cause an […]

Celebrate National Poetry Month with us!

What are our favourite poems?

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we here at Oxford Dictionaries decided to gather together everyone’s favourite poems. From Roethke to Frost, here is a quick overview of our favourite verse! You can click on the poems’ titles to read full versions. “The Puddock” by John M. Caie This is my favourite poem to recite. […]

Complete the title

Quiz: can you complete the book title?

We assume that you love words, and that probably means you love books. It’s time to put that love to the test: can you complete the titles of these novels? We’ve chosen a selection from across the decades, mostly by British and American authors. Take the quiz, challenge your bibliophile friends, and let us know how you […]

Shakespeare celebrities

Quiz: which Shakespeare plays are these celebrities quoting?

Many of the phrases that Shakespeare created in his plays have entered common parlance, whether or not we recognize their origins. That being the case, we took to Twitter to see which celebrities and public figures were quoting Shakespeare… although we suspect they might not have realized they were doing so. Match the tweets to […]

The question of astronomy vs astrology perplexes some, but really represents a very big difference.

Astronomy vs astrology?

What’s the difference between astrology and astronomy? The words are similar and can be confused, but are very different things – though a closer look at the history of the words reveals that this hasn’t always been the case. The difference between astronomy and astrology Let’s clear this up first. Astronomy is ‘the branch of […]

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