Category: Dictionaries and lexicography

OED Word of the Day monkey business

From monkey business to psychedelicatessen: illustrating the OED Word of the Day

If you’ve subscribed to the Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Day, or seen it on Twitter, then you may have wondered what the words would look like. You’re not alone in this: Imogen Foxell, an illustrator and Senior Editor in Oxford Dictionaries, often turns her artistic skills to portraying the OED Word of the […]

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Do you know the right choice when it comes to whose vs. who's?

Apostrophes often get people into trouble, so it’s no surprise that people often struggle with whose vs. who’s and whose. Though it is a fairly common error, it is also fairly easy to avoid. X There’s no one whose going to believe in your movie more than you. X  It was not well received by parents […]

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Man holding a light bulb

Look who’s Tolkien now: inventing languages

What are invented languages? How are they created? Do they have a place in the modern world? Invented languages have been used for hundreds of years, perhaps most famously in books and TV shows such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Conlang (a shortened form of constructed language) entered both Oxford Dictionaries and the Oxford English Dictionary […]

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Lexicographer Imogen Foxell illustrates the OED Word of the Day

Illustrating the OED Word of the Day

If you’ve subscribed to the Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Day, or seen it on Twitter, then you may have wondered what the words would look like. You’re not alone in this: Imogen Foxell, an illustrator and Senior Editor in Oxford Dictionaries, often turns her artistic skills to portraying the OED Word of the […]

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Bob Marley lyrics discuss many aspects of Jamaician political life and the Rastafari beliefs.

Despite being one of the most popular musical artists of the 20th century, the actual lyrical content of Bob Marley’s output may be surprisingly obscure to many of his listeners. The average music listener is probably familiar with classic Marley tracks like “Jamming”, “One Love”, and “No Woman, No Cry”, although they may not be […]

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Child reading a book in a garden

Enid Blyton in the OED

Enid Blyton (1897 – 1968) was an English writer of children’s books published from 1922 until her death in 1968. Among her literary creations are Noddy, The Naughtiest Girl in the School, The Faraway Tree, school stories set at St Clare’s and Mallory Towers, and the adventure series featuring the Famous Five and the Secret […]

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dictionary examples

How are dictionary examples chosen?

We often receive queries about the example sentences on OxfordDictionaries.com. 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 OxfordDictionaries.com 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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