Taylor Coe

Taylor Coe works for Oxford Dictionaries.

Articles by Taylor Coe


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

Orson-Welles-Show-1941

Where does the phrase ‘know where the bodies are buried’ come from?

It’s probably not too much of a surprise that Orson Welles’s greatest contribution to language comes from his greatest contribution to cinema. Following the rise and fall of fictional newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane, Welles’s 1941 film Citizen Kane is regarded by many as one of the greatest films ever made, and it also contains […]

fight of the century

12 boxing metaphors you hear all the time

Although the sport still enjoys a relatively large following today, the huge popularity that boxing had over a century ago is obvious when you look at the impact that the sport has had on the English language. In fact, there are plenty of common boxing terms and situations that you use in a figurative sense […]

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