It’s a nice idea, but the two words are in fact quite separate. Ostrich comes from an Old French word ostruce, dating right back to the twelfth century. The Latin term for the bird was struthiocamelus, meaning a ‘sparrow camel’, a word coined after the first encounters with ostriches, probably because of the animal’s long […]
Taking a first glance at a list of recent additions to a dictionary, most of us will instinctively seek out the very new. Sometimes it’s their simple sparkle of novelty that attracts – the latest updates to Oxford Dictionaries Online include ‘upcycling’, ‘surveilling’ and ‘wantaway’; others engage through the picture they give of the world […]
Let’s hear a woot (or not?) for the Big Society! Each year, as the announcement of Oxford’s Word of the Year approaches, I’m reminded of some words from the playwright Dennis Potter: ‘the trouble with words is that you never know whose mouth they’ve been in’. I sometimes wonder whether that’s why I like new […]
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Word of the Day: antebellum - occurring or existing before a particular war…... oxford.ly/1o8O0og
What is the origin of the word 'serendipity'? Find out... oxford.ly/H6fAB9
Learn about the explosive origin of 'bikini' in today's blog post: oxford.ly/1uygAc8
In case you missed it... Word of the Day: apposite - apt in the circumstances or relation to something... oxford.ly/1rtAaAF