The 1920s wasn’t just a period of decadence and flappers in a post-war haze of happiness. While The Great Gatsby drew attention to a world of insouciant pleasure-seeking, the 1920s also saw plenty of words enter the language. Some seem apt for the era, some might surprise, and all twenty selected below have survived for […]
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin (better known as an Oscar-winning actress and the Grammy-winning lead singer of Coldplay respectively) recently announced that they would be separating. While the news of any separation is sad, we can’t deny that the report also carried some linguistic interest. In the announcement, on Paltrow’s lifestyle site Goop, the pair […]
I’ve been a vegetarian for a little over half my life, and I know certain struggles that vegetarians have to put up with. But one area we don’t struggle with is language. I decided to take a mosey through various words connected with vegetables and vegetarianism, and discovered that the produce aisle at the supermarket […]
If someone were to ask you whether or not you’d read Trimalchio in West Egg, your first instinct might be to say ‘no’, and your second might be to marvel at the curious range of titles given to cookery books nowadays. Sorry to say, you’re possibly wrong on both counts – you might well have […]
As a twin, I spent my childhood being called the wrong name. I still turn around if I hear someone say ‘Colin’, which can be difficult to explain to people who have no idea about my not-so-secret double. Truth be told, I never found that particular mishap as annoying as “Can you read each other’s […]
Charles Dickens is one of the country’s best-loved and most influential authors. Even if you’ve never read one of his novels, the chances are that you are familiar with a host of his characters. His novels have been adapted into hundreds of films, from David Lean’s renowned Great Expectations (1946) to The Muppet’s Christmas Carol […]
Every year words are invented or have surges of popularity – some stand the test of time, and remain in dictionaries of current English – and some quietly retreat into the pages of historical dictionaries. Perhaps it is encouraging, to anybody anxious about the seeming surge of new words which enter the world’s vocabulary every […]
In 2010, when I started watching a BBC2 programme about baking sponge cakes, I assumed it would be one of the many things which marked me out as a social pariah, along with talking to cats and preferring books to people. Yet this evening the fourth series of the Great British Bake Off is coming […]
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Which new words were on our radar in July? oxford.ly/1ts1Dqt
In case you missed it... Word of the Day: envenom - put poison on or into; make poisonous... oxford.ly/1nTjTqw
Do you know the definitions of the neologisms 'dronie', 'Columbusing', & 'Juggalo'? Today’s post has the answers… oxford.ly/1ts1Dqt
How many three-letter words containing x or z can you name? We've got 46... oxford.ly/1dZRiFv