Category: Varieties of English

How to insult somebody in Northern Irish

How to insult somebody in Northern Irish

Let’s have a look at regional words that arise in the distinctly creative sphere of insults. In particular, we will be investigating words used in Northern Irish English, though due to its strong links with other regional varieties—especially Scottish and Irish—some of these terms will be familiar to people hailing from other parts of the […]

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blurry US flag

Quiz: American phrases to confuse Brits

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 […]

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world english

10 ways speakers of World English are changing the language

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 […]

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wisdom tree

Finding wisdom in Old English

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 […]

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buns

What does ‘bun’ mean to you?

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 […]

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Check out our list of interjections!

A list of interjections you should be using

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.

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philippines

Mabuhay! Philippine English in the OED update

Mabuhay from Oxford as we bring you news of the June quarterly update of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), which sees the inclusion of a wide range of words from Philippine English. English has been spoken in the Philippines since it was first introduced to the archipelago by a newly established American colonial government in […]

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pig large

Dingoes, lizards, prawns, and galahs: taking Australian idioms literally

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 […]

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