Thanks to the worldwide interest in American culture, English speakers around the world are familiar with odd American English expressions like bury the hatchet, pass the buck, and take a rain check. But no matter how many Hollywood movies you watch, there are still probably American idioms that will catch you by surprise. Take a stab at our quiz […]
When people think of world varieties of English and their contribution to the language, they tend to think in terms of unusual loanwords that conjure visions of exotic, faraway lands. Indeed, in countries such as India, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, where English is primarily used as a second or even third language alongside local […]
Anglo-Saxon literature is full of advice on how to live a good life. Many Anglo-Saxon poems and proverbs describe the characteristics a wise person should strive to possess, offering counsel on how to treat others and how to obtain and use wisdom in life. Here are some words in Old English (the name we give […]
A recent poll on OxfordDictionaries.com showed that 37% of our users would call a bread roll a bun, which makes it second only to roll as the most common way to say this. This is not, to me, what a bun would be, and so naively—with no concept of the can of worms I was […]
Perhaps the wildest of all the parts of speech, the interjection accounts for a fun swath of the English language, including curse words, expressions of joy, greetings, and even pseudo-magical incantations. Some of them you’ve probably heard before, but others will probably be new. Before you know it – bada bing! – we might be hearing these terms everywhere.
The latest Oxford Dictionaries update doesn’t just include individual words: as always, phrases are also included. This update sees many Australian English idioms added to OxfordDictionaries.com, and we’ve selected some that we’d like to hear more of across the English-speaking world. Some are used in other countries too; some might be unfamiliar even to many […]
Gidday! Don’t experience cultural cringe or get the irrits, because we’ve got some great Australian English words to share with you. Our recent Oxford Dictionaries update also sees many more terms and phrases from Australian English added. Some are used by every Fred Nerk, while some are a bit less common, but the good guts […]
In my recent book, Furphies and Whizz-bangs: Anzac Slang from the Great War, I had the opportunity to revisit some of the classic collections of war slang, including the Australian publication Digger Dialects, written in 1919 by W.H. Downing, and the British Songs and Slang of the British Soldier: 1914–1918, compiled by John Brophy and […]