Oxford Dictionaries

Articles by Oxford Dictionaries

“Architecture in general is frozen music.” - Friedrich von Schelling (1775–1854)


29 ways to say no

Sometimes you need somebody to get the point, and a simple no won’t do it. We’ve taken a look through the Historical Thesaurus of the OED and other sources to find out how best to say no to something. Now you can say no daily for almost a whole month without repeating yourself (and then […]

A group of people giving thumbs up.

22 ways to say yes

The word yes is great and all … but there’s plenty of other ways you can offer someone a verbal go-ahead. So if you feel like dipping your toes into the wild waters of alternative affirmations, then take a gander at the list below. If you’re feeling brave, deploy an aye aye in a business […]

pregnancy test

Pregnancy metaphors from around the world

Pregnant was something of a metaphor when it first started being used in relation to a baby. Its earlier meaning (which is still in use) was ‘full of meaning, highly significant’, and the word pregnant began being used as a synonym for the more self-explanatory term with child. There are plenty of historical synonyms for […]

Video: what is the origin of the word ‘soccer’?

“Language is fossil poetry.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson  (1803–1882)


12 food idioms in other languages

Because there are so many food-related idioms in other languages, coming up with this list was a piece of cake for us – or a ‘bread roll with butter’ as the Polish would say. If these examples aren’t enough to whet your appetite, you can add your mustard in the comment section below. 1. Mind your own […]


Quiz: can you match the lyrics to the musical?

Whether or not you’re able to be a regular attendee at Broadway shows or buy the soundtracks, there are plenty of phrases you’ll be able to identify from the lyrics of hit musicals. Take our quiz to see if you can match the lyrics to the musical.