Articles, quizzes, and grammar tips for word-lovers everywhere

Category: Word trends and new words

compound nouns

Cupboards and bro hugs: investigating compound words

The new words update for August is out, and some of you might have noticed that a few of the new words look suspiciously like there are two of them (I’m looking at you, air punch, bro hug, and spit take). That’s because, in dictionary terms, a word is something that conveys a single unit of […]

Read more »
new words

Beyond the dictionary: the stories behind some of Oxford’s latest additions

cray The word cray, shortened for crazy, seems to have arisen in the early 2000s. It originally appeared in the reduplicated form cray cray, which appeared on Urban Dictionary as early as 2002. By the end of the decade, cray cray had been widely adopted in the language of the American blogosphere, as in this […]

Read more »
Oxford Dictionaries August update

Adorbs new words added to OxfordDictionaries.com – WDYT?

We don’t mean to humblebrag, but the August update to OxfordDictionaries.com is bare good and nailed on to interest and impress you. Throw an air punch or have a bro hug (don’t be cray and throw shade or show us the side-eye); be a baller and join the hyperconnected vocabulary fandom and read on to […]

Read more »
on the radar

On the radar: July 2014

Oxford’s lexicography team monitors many new English words which are still too new or rare to be included in our dictionaries. Here is a roundup of a few neologisms that have caught our eyes recently. oxt Lexicographers typically discover new words when we encounter them “in the wild”, used unselfconsciously by people who are confident […]

Read more »
fashion words

Fedoras to mullets: decades of fashion words

It can be pretty difficult to keep track of current fashion trends; it seems as soon as you finally become accustomed to one (and have incorporated it into your own wardrobe), another style invariably comes along to replace it. However, even decades after the trends themselves are no longer to be found behind storefront windows […]

Read more »
How Bill Murray changed the English language

Bill Murray in the OED

When the Ghostbusters film was released in the mid-1980s it gave us many things: an earworm of a theme tune, an ideal group fancy dress costume, and a chance to appreciate Bill Murray’s wonderfully deadpan delivery of some classic lines. But who would have thought that one of these lines would have such an impact […]

Read more »
Children's WOTY

Children’s Word of the Year 2014

Our Children’s Dictionaries department has today announced the Children’s Word of the Year for 2014: ‘minion’. The word was chosen after analysis of the entries to the 2014 BBC Radio 2 500 WORDS competition, in which children aged 13 and under were invited to compose an original work of fiction, using no more than 500 […]

Read more »
1920s

20 words that originated in the 1920s

The 1920s wasn’t just a period of decadence and flappers in a post-war haze of happiness. While The Great Gatsby drew attention to a world of insouciant pleasure-seeking, the 1920s also saw plenty of words enter the language. Some seem apt for the era, some might surprise, and all twenty selected below have survived for […]

Read more »

Tweets