Category: Word trends and new words

fedora

Adore the fedora: what links an item of men’s headwear and a glamorous fin-de-siècle French actress?

Most sources agree that the fedora, the familiar soft felt hat with a curled brim and a creased crown, sported by heroes and antiheros alike in period TV and film drama—including Indiana Jones and Don Draper of Mad Men —is named after the eponymous heroine of the 1882 play Fédora, by Victorien Sardou, played in […]

Read more »
father

WordWatch roundup: terrorism, father, inshallah, and bastard-trench

This series investigates changes in lookups for words and their meanings across OxfordDictionaries.com. The graphs are based on website data collected over a four-week period, and the accompanying commentary explores how news and other current events have influenced these word trends and sudden peaks in interest. terrorism The mass shooting on 17 June at Emanuel A.M.E. […]

Read more »
twerk

Freegan, yarn bombing, and the surprisingly long history of twerk: new words in the OED

The online Oxford English Dictionary (OED) launched on 14 March 2000, and since the OED generally does not add neologisms until they have had some time to establish themselves, the newest words in the early updates tended to be terms that had emerged in the 1990s. Fourteen years on, that has begun to change, and […]

Read more »
barbecue chicken

WordWatch roundup: barbecue, panjandrum, ovate, and callipygian

This series investigates changes in lookups for words and their meanings across OxfordDictionaries.com. The graphs are based on website data collected over a four-week period, and the accompanying commentary explores how news and other current events have influenced these word trends and sudden peaks in interest. barbecue, noun With the advent of summer (unofficially marked in […]

Read more »
polling station

WordWatch roundup: penny dreadful, psephology, cock-a-hoop, and bafflegab

Penny dreadful, noun: With the debut of the second season of the British-American television show Penny Dreadful on 3 May…

Read more »
johannesburg SA

WordWatch roundup: xenophobia, hustings, sabbatical, and ludic

This series investigates changes in lookups for words and their meanings across OxfordDictionaries.com. The graphs are based on website data collected over a four-week period, and the accompanying commentary explores how news and other current events have influenced these word trends and sudden peaks in interest. xenophobia, noun Following a recent outbreak of violence against foreigners […]

Read more »
tricoteuses

WordWatch roundup: Sassenach, Mrs Grundy, Plaid Cymru, Maundy, and tricoteuse

This series investigates changes in lookups for words and their meanings across OxfordDictionaries.com. The graphs are based on website data collected over a four-week period, and the accompanying commentary explores how news and other current events have influenced these word trends and sudden peaks in interest. Sassenach, noun Following the return on 4 April of […]

Read more »
grunge

Grungespeak: the greatest language hoax of the 1990s

In honor of April Fools’ Day, we take a look back at one of the great language hoaxes of the past several decades. Back in 1992, ‘grunge’ was the next big thing in American culture. Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind had hit the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart, fashion designer Marc Jacobs had just […]

Read more »

Take our poll…

Tweets