Oxford Dictionaries

Articles by Oxford Dictionaries


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 […]

Why English is hard: words ending in ‘-ough’

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 […]

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