Taylor Coe

Taylor Coe works for Oxford Dictionaries.

Articles by Taylor Coe


interjections

34 interjections you should be using

Perhaps the wildest of all the parts of speech, the interjection accounts for a fun swath of the English language, including curse words, expressions of joy, greetings, and even pseudo-magical incantations. Some of them you’ve probably heard before, but others will probably be new. Before you know it – bada bing! – we might be hearing these terms everywhere.

Cracker Barrel entrance

What does ‘cracker-barrel’ actually mean?

Last week, a satirical petition appeared online that suggested Americans should start protesting the popular American chain restaurant Cracker Barrel, because the word ‘cracker’ is an offensive term for white people. However, what does the term ‘cracker-barrel’ actually refer to?

9 ways to call someone a ‘liar’

9 ways to call someone a ‘liar’

Has someone been pulling the wool over your eyes? Have they been ‘economical with the truth’? Told you ‘terminological inexactitudes’? You can do better than just ‘liar’. Why don’t you try calling them out with this curated list of synonyms? After all, what stings more: ‘liar’ or ‘teller of untruths’? You can decide: 1. Teller […]

generations

What are the origins of generation names?

The word seems to crop up every time you read a report on current cultural trends, especially in the US: millennial, referring to a ‘person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000’. But how did we end up with the term in the first place? And what about those other generation terms, like the Beat […]

'Basket case' has an offensive origin that you might not be aware of.

9 words you didn’t know had offensive origins

Nothing is stranger than discovering that words or phrases we hear every day have offensive or problematic origins. And while there’s no need to cast aspersions on the language of bygone days, it’s helpful to check in on the words we use and what they mean (or used to mean). Some of the words here […]

drive thru

11 spelling changes that would make English easier

Editorial note: we are not advocating that you use these alternate spellings in formal settings; in fact, these spellings are best avoided unless your style guide prefers them. The English language is famous for its many quirks and exceptions to the rule, which can make it a difficult language to learn. One of the areas […]

apple pie a la mode

Quiz: how well do you know sweets around the world?

The world of cuisine is rich in language, often with borrowings from a wide array of cultures, names that follow recipes as they are exchanged across continents and oceans. But when food travels, sometimes the meanings are lost in translation; when you ask for apple pie à la mode in the US, you will get […]

Yogi Berra

‘Yogi-isms’: the wisdom and wit of Yogi Berra

What is it that we love so much about the oft-quoted sayings of Yogi Berra? Of all the wisdom that has been handed down from America’s pastime over the past century, none of it

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