Category: Interactive features

punctuation

Which punctuation mark are you?

Is there anything more important than punctuation? Providing us with stops, pauses, exclamations, questions, and even social media savvy, punctuation marks have been breaking up and clarifying our language for quite some time. Spend a few moments taking our quiz and learn which punctuation mark best captures your personality!

Take the Quiz »
Handwriting

How well do you know the language of handwriting?

Sponsored by the Writing Instruments Manufacturers Association and celebrated each year on January 23rd, National Handwriting Day (US) reminds us of the vast and varied tools, systems, industries, arts, and styles that have been fashioned, practiced, and, more often than not nowadays, ditched for more computational alternatives over the course of human history. Handwriting is […]

Take the Quiz »
Pen and paper

Can you figure out what these historical synonyms mean?

The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (HTOED) is a rich and wonderful collection of synonyms, some archaic and obsolete, others from slang and dialect, but all of them reflecting the long history and wide reach of the English language. Test your knowledge of them with this tough quiz!

Take the Quiz »
Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) is a Russian figure similar to Santa Claus.

Santa around the world: an interactive map of holiday gift givers

So who exactly do we mean by ‘Santa’ or ‘St. Nicholas’? Given his seeming ubiquity during the holiday season, from cameos in Black Friday advertisements to appearances in pop songs, it can feel as though Santa is a universal figure. However, the culture of Christmas-time gift giving turns out to be far more complicated. Rather […]

See More »
OED 2 min

Interactive map: the OED in two minutes

This animation uses data from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to show how English has developed by borrowing or adapting words from different languages and regions of the world, from 1150 to the present day. These patterns of word-borrowing reflect the changing demography of the English-speaking world; cultural and economic influences on Britain; the spread […]

Read more »
Lolcat generator

Lolcat generator: turn your words into lolcat speak

Among the words added in the latest OxfordDictionaries.com update was lolcat (or LOLcat). It is defined as ‘(on the Internet) a photograph of a cat accompanied by a humorous caption written typically in a misspelled and grammatically incorrect version of English’. The lol stands for ‘laughing out loud’ or ‘laugh out loud’. You may well […]

Read more »
vapor smoke

Timeline: smoke to vape – tobacco over time

Long before Europeans arrived in the Americas, tobacco was part of the culture of many Native American tribes. These tribes had many different uses for the plant, ranging from recreational and ceremonial use to the plant’s use in various medical capacities, in particular as a painkiller. The American origins of the plant can still be […]

See More »
Oxford Dictionaries Community

Introducing the Oxford Dictionaries Community

What is the Community? Have you ever wondered how to use the Oxford comma, or what the French equivalent of Bob’s your uncle is? Do you want to discuss selfie, semi-colons, and subclauses? Are there, in fact, questions about language you’ve always wanted to ask, and linguistic topics you’ve been longing to discuss? As you […]

Read more »

Tweets