wind

Weather idioms: winds and storms

We recently took a look at idioms from around the world that use rain as a metaphor; today we turn our attention to those from German, Chinese, Russian, and more, that use winds and storms to get their point across. 1. In den Wind schreiben Language: German Translation: To write in the wind What does it […]

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fruit education

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Clueless

The language of Clueless

It’s the 20th anniversary of the now-classic movie Clueless! Twenty years — we’re totally bugging. And if you thought we’d let the day pass without a commemorative post, well, as if. Not only is Clueless adorable, funny, and way existential (okay, maybe not way existential), but some of its wittiest one-liners have taken on lives […]

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Video: the origin of symbols like # and @

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pronunciation

Paradigm, meme, quinoa, and other words you might be mispronouncing

Subscribers to the Oxford Dictionaries YouTube channel may have noticed that we have recently added hundreds of short videos giving pronunciation tips. We’ve picked eleven tricky words you might be mispronouncing, to get you started… paradigm quinoa meme chorizo gilet ombre usurp risible machismo synonym

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Brontosaurus

Whatever happened to the Brontosaurus?

When I was about six, my grandfather introduced me to a book which he had been given as a boy. It had a picture of a Triceratops on the front cover, and I read it eagerly as far as the back cover more than once. It was the 1897 edition of Extinct Monsters: a popular […]

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crime scene

OED appeals: can you help us find earlier evidence of the term ‘SOCO’?

Can you help us? OED Appeals is a dedicated community space on the OED website where OED editors solicit help in unearthing new information about the history and usage of English. Part of the process of revising words and phrases for the OED involves searching for evidence of a word’s first recorded use in English, […]

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feet

10 words for body parts that you probably didn’t know

Did you think that that well-known children’s song: ‘Heads, shoulders, knees, and toes’ had taught you all the body terminology that you would ever need to know? It turns out that you were very wrong! We’ve put together a list of the most obscure words for body parts that you probably didn’t know. 1. hallux […]

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