Category: Word trends and new words

mubarak

I Mubarak, you Mubaraked, they were Mubaraking?

There have been a good number of comments tweeted and posted online over the past few weeks about the possibility of turning Mubarak, the name of the recently resigned Egyptian leader, into a verb. Some of the suggestions as to what it might mean are ‘to stick to something like glue’, ‘to refuse to leave’, […]

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Word trends: viral

Computer virus

Viral now has more meanings than it used to. In the twentieth century, you would only have encountered this word in the physiological context of diseases: Rabies is an acute viral infection that is extremely rare in the UK. A quarter of the residents had high levels of viral hepatitis. In the twenty-first century, most […]

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Are you calling me a geek? Why, *thank you*

Geek

Geek has seen an interesting transformation in meaning over the last couple of decades. The word used to be a cruel and critical label attached to clever, but socially awkward, people – such as computer or science geeks. The origin of this sense of the word can be traced back to the late nineteenth century, […]

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How a new word enters an Oxford Dictionary

New word infographic

We’ve recently updated Oxford Dictionaries Online with bajillions of new words and terms, from fnarr fnarr and nom nom to mankini and luchador. But have you ever wondered how a word earns its place in Oxford Dictionaries Online? We’ve created this handy infographic to show you the journey of a word, from its inception to […]

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Onomatopoeia

Fnarr fnarr, phwoah, and mwah

Taking a first glance at a list of recent additions to a dictionary, most of us will instinctively seek out the very new. Sometimes it’s their simple sparkle of novelty that attracts – the latest updates to Oxford Dictionaries Online include ‘upcycling’, ‘surveilling’ and ‘wantaway’; others engage through the picture they give of the world […]

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New words in Oxford Dictionaries Online

New words in Oxford Dictionaries Online. Woot!

We’ve just added a buttload of new bloggable words to Oxford Dictionaries Online. But watch out, the new additions to the dictionary are so exciting you may be tempted to let your jazz hands loose… Fnarr fnarr! TMI coming into your feature phone Everyone seems to have a feature phone today, making communication on the […]

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Wake up and smell ODO’s latest additions!

Babycino

There is very little that thrills the heart of a lexicographer quite so much as the smell of new words. Fresh, piquant, and uncluttered by the barnacle-like clichés that attach themselves to so many words which have been around for hundreds of years, these recent additions to the language breathe fresh life into it, and […]

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Nice and egregious wordle

Shifted meanings: nice and egregious

Many of the words that have been in the English language for more than a few hundred years have shifted their meaning somewhat. The first meaning of the word secretary was exactly what it looks like it should be – someone who keeps secrets. And similarly, principal meant ‘of or belonging to a prince’ well before it […]

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