Oxford Dictionaries

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“As to the Adjective: when in doubt, strike it out.” - Mark Twain

Video: can literally mean figuratively?


Quiz: how well do you know your Independence Day quotations?

The actor Will Smith was not present at the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July, 1776. At least there are no pictures that show him next to Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin on that historic day. No official pictures anyway. However, there are many similarities between Independence Day – the 1996 film starring […]

Interior of a strip club

Seeing ‘Magic Mike XXL’? 6 words from the world of stripping

With Magic Mike XXL coming out this week, we thought it might be enlightening to take a look at a few terms from the wide world of erotic dance and stripping. 1. pole dance People have been performing athletic and acrobatic feats on, around, and with poles for centuries. Hence, it’s not a surprise to find citations in […]

Video: what is the origin of the term ‘UFO’?

Canadian flag

Quiz: how good is your Canadian English?

Although Canadian English is often lumped together with American English, Canadian English stands apart as its own distinct variety of English. One of the ways that it stands apart is its vocabulary, which includes several borrowings from Quebecois French. Take the quiz below to see how well you know your Canadian English!

melted cheese

OED appeals: can you help us find earlier evidence of the word ‘parmo’?

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, […]

Video: ‘illicit’ or ‘elicit’

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