Category: Dictionaries and lexicography

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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Illustrating the OED Word of the Day, from ablow to nowcast

From ‘ablow’ to ‘philodox’: 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 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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Illustrating the OED Word of the Day: outglitter

From ‘outglitter’ to ‘monkey business’: 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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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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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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computer words

Old words for new: computer, discs, and magazines

We’ve all been talking about , but last year’s Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year, vape, is a prime example of our capacity to save ourselves the trouble of inventing new words. Of course we can do it when we have to (think television, aspirin, kryptonite), but we’re also very good at recycling existing words […]

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james murray oed first page

5 facts you probably didn’t know about James Murray

2015 marks the centenary of the death of James Murray, the first Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. Murray’s work as a lexicographer is well known, but there was a great deal more to him than lexicography. We are therefore marking the anniversary with an occasional series of articles highlighting other aspects of his life […]

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