Category: English in use

political catchphrases and nicknames

What’s in a nickname? Lyin’ Ted, L’il Marco, and the art of the political catchphrase

The US Presidential race is taking yet another twist in its long road to the White House this week, as voters in Indiana head to the polls for their primary contest. The race to become a party’s nominee is usually all but settled by this time of year, but in 2016, at least on the […]

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Is a zebra a horse?

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male and female animals

What are the names for male and female animals?

We previously looked at the names for specific baby animals, so now it’s time to turn our attention to words for male and female animals. Explore the list below to discover the names for a female hedgehog, a male swan, and many others. animal female male ant queen / worker drone antelope doe buck bear […]

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The Jungle Book

Rudyard Kipling and The Jungle Book in the Oxford English Dictionary

“I am, by calling, a dealer in words; and words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”  Rudyard Kipling’s linguistic legacy is apparent from the more than 2500 quotations from his works that appear in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED); the term Kiplingism even has its own entry. This turns out to […]

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The hot take has been rapidly rising in usage.

The rise of the ‘hot take’

In the social-media-driven world of today, the ‘hot take’ is the bread and butter of online publications. Recently added to OxfordDictionaries.com, the word hot take refers to ‘a piece of commentary, typically produced quickly in response to a recent event, whose primary purpose is to attract attention’. How ‘hot’ is the ‘hot take’? Quite hot. […]

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Celebrate National Poetry Month with us!

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we here at Oxford Dictionaries decided to gather together everyone’s favourite poems. From Roethke to Frost, here is a quick overview of our favourite verse! You can click on the poems’ titles to read full versions. “The Puddock” by John M. Caie This is my favourite poem to recite. […]

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The question of astronomy vs astrology perplexes some, but really represents a very big difference.

Astronomy vs astrology?

What’s the difference between astrology and astronomy? The words are similar and can be confused, but are very different things – though a closer look at the history of the words reveals that this hasn’t always been the case. The difference between astronomy and astrology Let’s clear this up first. Astronomy is ‘the branch of […]

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Why English is hard: words ending in ‘-ough’

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