Category: Word trends and new words

fruits

From flexitarian to evil genius: new words in the OED

The June 2014 Oxford English Dictionary (OED) update sees another wide range of words and senses entering the dictionary. We’ve had a focus on updating words connected with the First World War, to commemorate its centenary, but plenty of other words and phrases have been included in the OED for the first time. These range […]

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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 […]

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alarm clock

‘Time suck’ and other new words added to OxfordDictionaries.com

The latest quarterly update to Oxford Dictionaries sees a wide range of words, definitions, and senses added to the dictionary. The words originate in spheres as different as cycling (bikeable) and finance (cryptocurrency), from food (white pizza) to online slang (a very new type of ship). Here is a selection of some of the new […]

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1920s words include 'makeover' and 'it girl'.

20 words from the 1920s

The 1920s wasn’t just a period of decadence and flappers in a post-war haze of happiness. (‘Flapper’, by the way, emerged before the 1920s – lexicographer Allan Metcalf has nominated it as Word of the Year 1915.) While The Great Gatsby drew attention to a world of insouciant pleasure-seeking, the 1920s also saw plenty of […]

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'Food coma' (what this cat is experiencing) was added to OxfordDictionaries.com

‘Food coma’ and other new words added to OxfordDictionaries.com

Our latest quarterly update to Oxford Dictionaries Online has seen a selection of new words, definitions, and senses added to the dictionary. The words originate in a range of spheres from food (branzino, cranachan) and music (beat-match) to astronomy (protoplanet) and, unsurprisingly, technology (lock screen, headcam), and include a variety of different word forms, from […]

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Facebook

What happens when language becomes “Facebook official”?

It’s hard to imagine that just 10 years ago, few of us had even heard of Facebook. What initially started out as a social network for students of Harvard University has grown into one of the most frequented (and valuable) domains in all of the vast space of the Internet. As quickly as the now […]

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felfie

Farmily album: the rise of the felfie

Words are patient things. They need to be: language change is often a slow process, measured, for the most part, in centuries and not months. A new word (a neologism), whether it enters English as a loanword, a borrowing from another language, or whether it is formed within English from pre-existing words and affixes, usually […]

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The word 'flash mob' is older than you might think.

Words that are older than you think, Part 2

Read Part 1 of the series.  Every year words are invented or have surges of popularity – some stand the test of time, and remain in dictionaries of current English – and some quietly retreat into the pages of historical dictionaries. Perhaps it is encouraging, to anybody anxious about the seeming surge of new words which […]

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