Category: Dictionaries and lexicography

Otter cafe

LOYO, Obamacar, and otter café: new words in

The most recent update to sees a host of new words added from the worlds of politics, popular culture, and social media. You can see ten highlights from the update below. In each case, clicking on the word will take you through to the word’s new dictionary entry, where you can see full definitions, example sentences, and […]

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California and the Oxford English Dictionary

California and the Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has worked with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Public Library to look at words in the Oxford English Dictionary that have come from California. From Valleyspeak to the language of the movies, the timeline highlights more than 150 terms which are first found in the Golden […]

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Ice Cube

9 singers and groups you may not expect to find in the OED

Over two million quotations are included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and, with approximately 33,300 quotations, Shakespeare is the author you’re most likely to encounter when looking up a word. While the Bard’s inclusion doesn’t seem very surprising, the dictionary also cites a number of people whose inclusion is a bit more unexpected. For example, […]

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Spine of the Oxford English Dictionary and the New English Dictionary

Women and the Oxford English Dictionary

On International Women’s Day, we shine the spotlight on 10 women without whom the OED would not be what it is today. Some are famous, some less so, but all made a vital and important contribution. 1. Charlotte Yonge (1823–1901) Novelist, perhaps best known today for The Heir of Redclyffe (1853). She also wrote an […]

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OED illustrated

Illustrating the OED Word of the Day

Have you ever wondered what those OED Words of the Day look like? If you have, then you are in luck! Every week, we feature an illustration of one of the OED Words of the Day, as created by our own Imogen Foxell, an illustrator and Senior Editor in Oxford Dictionaries. In these visuals, Imogen illuminates […]

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dictionary examples

How are dictionary examples chosen?

We often receive queries about the example sentences on Some people assume that they are written by the lexicographers who produce the definitions, but in fact they are chosen from real-life examples collected on Oxford’s corpora—vast databases of text drawn from many publications, websites, and other sources. Oxford takes an evidence-based approach to lexicography, […]

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on fleek

Video: adding on fleek to Oxford Dictionaries

You might remember that on fleek was on the shortlist for Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015, and both fleek and on fleek were added to last year, meaning ‘extremely good, attractive, or stylish’. It offers great examples of the challenges and opportunities for lexicographers looking at digital communication and new viral slang, as Oxford Dictionaries lexicographer Katherine […]

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audio OED

Dictionaries that talk: a new OED feature

This month, the Oxford English Dictionary has started to talk. With the addition of audio pronunciations, OED joins other titles in OUP’s family of dictionaries. OED users can now look up a word and click the new blue button  next to each pronunciation transcription to hear the world spoken aloud by a British and an American speaker. […]

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