Category: Word trends and new words

WOTY emoji banner

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 is…

That’s right – for the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a pictograph: 😂, officially called the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji, though you may know it by other names. There were other strong contenders from a range of fields, outlined below, but 😂 was chosen as the ‘word’ that […]

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lumbersexual shortlist

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015: the shortlist

In addition to the Word of the Year itself, Oxford Dictionaries staff have put together a shortlist of notable words that have gained linguistic currency during 2015. These range across a variety of subjects, from global politics and current affairs, to technology and popular culture. Here is a closer look at those words, in alphabetical […]

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From ‘screen-rage’ to ‘sadiculous’: your new word submissions in September

Each month, we receive a large number of word submissions from our readers and followers. While all contributions are read and considered by our editors, not every word we get via email or Twitter will end up in the dictionary. For a term to be included in there has to be sufficient evidence of […]

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Columbus takes possession of land

Update: what happened to ‘columbusing’?

Those who keep an eye on the world of viral humour videos doubtless remember the verbing of columbus in a video for the website College Humor in July last year, which defined the term as ‘to discover (something) for white people’. As today is Columbus Day—marking the day columbusing’s eponym arrived in the Americas—we thought […]

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8 words that are younger than you think

8 words that are younger than you think

Having teased you several times with words that are older than you think, we thought we’d turn the tables and look at some that have a surprisingly brief history. Of course, older information may turn up to provide antedatings – but, as things stand, these words have entered the English language later than you might […]

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scottish referendum

The Scottish independence referendum: one year on

This time last year, the British press (and, indeed, British conversation) was full of talk about the Scottish independence referendum. It took place on 18 September 2014, and was to determine whether or not Scotland should be an independent country – the alternative being remaining part of the United Kingdom. As discussion around the topic […]

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The word manspreading was popularized by the MTA, although they they never officially used it.

Manspreading: how New York City’s MTA popularized a word without actually saying it

New York City, home of Oxford Dictionaries’ New York offices, has made numerous contributions to the English lexicon through the years, as disparate as knickerbocker and hip hop. One of Gotham’s most recent impacts was the popularization of manspreading, defined in the latest update of Oxford Dictionaries as ‘the practice whereby a man, especially one […]

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nine worlds

Words from Nine Worlds – one year on

Oxford Dictionaries are always on the lookout for new language to consider for inclusion. Research is not restricted to printed material, but includes language used online (especially Usenet and Twitter) and by particular groups of speakers with specialist knowledge. In August 2014, while I was at the Nine Worlds convention, speaking about conlangs and generally enjoying […]

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