Oxford Dictionaries

Articles by Oxford Dictionaries


Words containing 'mother'

Mother’s milk, mother wit, and other words containing ‘mother’

This Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day, also known as Mothering Sunday, in the UK: that day of the year on which mothers are particularly honoured by their children. In North America and South Africa, Mother’s Day is on the second Sunday in May instead. According to A Dictionary of English Folklore, Mother’s Day as we […]

Make sure you get your politics words pronunciations correct!

Avoid sounding foolish when talking politics

Have a political opinion you want to voice? Do you want to take a stand on an issue? Don’t discredit yourself by pronouncing a word incorrectly. Even if you have seen a word a million times in newsprint, it may not mean you have the pronunciation down pat. Before you charge ahead into a political […]

Dutch slagroom means whipped cream in English

13 foreign words that sound rude in English

If you’re learning a foreign language you’ve probably been in this situation before: getting all excited about coming across a seemingly familiar word only to find out that its actual meaning is very different from what you expected. There’s no doubt that false friends – i.e. words or expressions that have similar forms to the […]

UNESCO logo on longest mosaic wall in the world.

Infographic: endangered languages around the world

International Mother Language Day was first announced by UNESCO in 1999 to ‘promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world’. It has, since then, been observed every year on 21 February. For this occasion, we have created an infographic about endangered languages around the globe, with particular focus on […]

Angry blue painted egg

10 historical insults from the OED

Are you looking for some more creative ways to insult someone? We’ve pulled some insults from the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to help you out with that… 1. Flibbertigibbet A noun that describes ‘a chattering or gossiping person’ and ‘a flighty or frivolous woman’. According to the OED, flibbertigibbet is an […]

Clock gear set

15 words invented by authors

Inventors’ Day is typically celebrated in honour of all the great minds past and present that have come up with a process or thing that helped make our everyday lives easier. But what about those inventors of words that have enriched our lexicon with their language? Let’s take a look at fifteen authors, and the words […]

Man holding a light bulb

Look who’s Tolkien now: inventing languages

What are invented languages? How are they created? Do they have a place in the modern world? Invented languages have been used for hundreds of years, perhaps most famously in books and TV shows such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Conlang (a shortened form of constructed language) entered both Oxford Dictionaries and the Oxford English Dictionary […]

Illustrating the OED Word of the Day, from ablow to nowcast

From ‘ablow’ to ‘philodox’: illustrating the OED Word of the Day

Have you ever wondered what those OED Words of the Day look like? If you have, then you are in luck! Every week, we feature an illustration of one of the OED Words of the Day, as created by our own Imogen Foxell, an illustrator and Senior Editor in Oxford Dictionaries. In these visuals, Imogen illuminates […]

Tweets