Spiders. Heights. The dark. Small, enclosed spaces. When we think of phobias, our minds usually jump to the commons ones – including the aforementioned claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) and arachnophobia (fear of spiders). However, there’s a curious group of much rarer phobias out there as well. For example, how about iconophobia (fear of religious […]
As we all know, Halloween is really more about treats than tricks. The “tricking” half of the holiday has come to be celebrated by practical jokesters on a different date altogether–Mischief Night. Think you’re a master prankster? Take our quiz and find out!
We recently tested non-Brits on their knowledge of British English; now it’s time to turn the tables and see how well English-speakers outside of North America can handle the mysteries of American English. Have a go, and let us know how you do. Good luck!
A palindrome is a word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backwards as forwards (e.g. madam or nurses run). The term originated in the early 17th century and is derived from Greek palindromos which translates to ‘running back again’. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest single word palindrome is saippuakivikauppias, […]
If you’re an English speaker and have spent any time in an English-speaking country not your own, you know how different the language can be. Sometimes the differences are slight – for example, the stress on different syllables of weekend between British and American English (wiːkˈɛnd vs. ‘wēkˌend, respectively) – but sometimes the differences are […]
David Crystal’s Words in Time and Place (published today by OUP) uses the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary to explore the history of fifteen fascinating sets of words: synonyms for dying, the nose, and being drunk; meals, privies, and fools, and more. See how well you know historical synonyms, and the times and places […]
Are you a comic book fan as well as a language maven? Prove it with the OxfordWords comics quiz! Comic books are often looked down upon as a juvenile form of literature, but the medium has spawned countless works and even contributed many catchphrases (most of which come from superheroes) into the modern English lexicon. […]
On 1 September 1914, Martha, thought to be the last surviving passenger pigeon, died in the Cincinnati Zoo. Once numbering in the several billion in North America, the passenger pigeon was hunted to extinction in the wild by the end of the 19th century, with only a few birds left in captivity. One of the […]
Word of the Day: treacherous - guilty of or involving betrayal or deception... oxford.ly/1S4nk7O
ICYMI: Word of the Day: fastidious - very attentive to and concerned about accuracy...... oxford.ly/1IDozdv