Category: Word trends and new words

bitcoin

Language review 2013: from bitcoin to sharknado

Everyone loves a new word. When Oxford announces its Word of the Year, I sometimes detect behind the buzz of expectation a pang of disappointment that the chosen ‘winner’ isn’t a brand new invention. The romantic allure of a mint-new coinage, the inspiration of a single moment in time, is hard to resist. The truth […]

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selfie

Video: the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013 is …‘selfie’

Richard Holden, Online Editor for Oxford Dictionaries, discusses the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2013: selfie. Watch the video below to discover why this word was chosen, what the earliest known usage of ‘selfie’ is, and which related terms have already been created. Want to find out more? Explore the rise of ‘selfie’ […]

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'Selfie' was the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year in 2013

Infographic: a closer look at ‘selfie’

Earlier today we announced that the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2013 is ‘selfie’. Explore the infographic below to learn more about this year’s Word of the Year and track its evolution from a social media buzzword to mainstream shorthand for a self-portrait photograph. Click on the image below to see a larger […]

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Buzzworthy

Buzzworthy words added to Oxford Dictionaries Online – squee!

We’ve just added some srsly buzzworthy words to our online dictionary – squee! With influences ranging from technology to fashion, there is something for everyone in the update. If you are someone who always leaves prepping for a party to the last minute, you’ll be relieved to know that you can now click and collect, […]

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Zonkey

Zebra crossings: what zonkeys tell us about our love of hybrid words

Have you heard of the zonkey? It sounds like we made it up, but it’s actually a widely-recognized word. Zonkey, it turns out, is only one of several words for the semi-striped offspring of zebras and other equine mammals. For whatever reason, these creatures have inspired generations of would-be wordsmiths to name them—and rename them. Interbreeding […]

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LOL is older than you think

Words that are older than you think, Part 1

Language changes, whether we like it or not, and nothing changes faster than slang. Most of us are all too familiar with that distressing moment when we discover that we’ve changed from despairing of our parents’ inept use of slang, to being lost at sea ourselves. Suddenly everything is ROFL this and YOLO that, and […]

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The language of the summer solstice

The language of the summer solstice

It’s hard to believe, with spring only just about sprung here in Britain, but 21 June is midsummer. This is also called the summer solstice, from Latin sol “sun” and stitium “standing still”, because seen from the earth it looks like the sun halts in its tracks going northward, and moves back south. Because of […]

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Ballad

Lily-white hands and scarlet gowns: formulas in British traditional ballads

Traditional song can be a tricky beast. Stubbornly slippery in form, content, and definition, its remit encompasses an amorphous mass of vernacular songs that have been cherished by everyday people over time. These songs are of varying vintages, of both known and unknown authorship, some passed through generations by word of mouth, others emerging from […]

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