Oxford Dictionaries

Articles by Oxford Dictionaries

Quiz: Shakespeare in pop songs

Quiz: Shakespeare in pop songs

If music be the food of love, play on, as Shakespeare once said – or had Orsino say in Twelfth Night, at least. (He did go on to add that he wanted ‘excess of it, that, surfeiting, / The appetite may sicken, and so die’, of course, but let’s omit that bit for the moment.) Shakespeare not […]

Why English is so hard to learn: silent letters

football terminology quiz

How well do you know football terminology?

Are you man of the match, or merely watching from the sidelines? Click through those eight questions to find out how well you know the language of the beautiful game.

What are the plurals of ‘octopus’, ‘hippopotamus’, and ‘syllabus’?

There are plenty of supernatural elements in Shakespeare's plays

Quiz: Shakespeare and the supernatural

Shakespeare might have had a fondness for kings and unlikely coincidences featuring twins, but he also wasn’t averse to a ghost every now and then. There are plenty of supernatural elements in his plays, from revenge hauntings to magic spells and the occasional statue that comes to life. We’ve taken some of Shakespeare’s ghostliest lines […]

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, […]