Murray Garden Party_OUP Archives

A letter from Dr Murray: commemorating the centenary of Murray’s death

26 July 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of James Murray, the first Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. To commemorate this centenary, we are reproducing an autobiographical letter Murray wrote in 1903. You can also discover more about Murray’s life in an occasional series of articles about Murray’s life which we are […]

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Alice book

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minions

WordWatch roundup: minion, Kuiper belt, derecho, and Eid

minion The spike in lookups of the word minion – ‘a follower or underling of a powerful person, especially a servile or unimportant one’ – should surprise no one, given that the film Minions entered theaters a few weeks ago. The pill-shaped film ‘minions’, speaking a gibberish language and about the size of fire hydrants, […]

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gavel

Legislation meets lexicography: the campaign for dictionary recognition of the word ‘upstander’

Oxford University Press frequently receives requests from members of the public to add a particular word to our dictionaries, but an official legislative resolution supporting a word’s inclusion may be unprecedented. Nonetheless, that is what happened on June 29, 2015, when the New Jersey State Senate approved a resolution “urging Merriam-Webster, Inc. and the Oxford […]

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Coleridge

Coleridge’s way with words

Why should we commemorate Coleridge’s death date, July 25? The obvious reason is his high status as a poet, but a better one might be his exuberance as a wordsmith. As a poet, after all, he is widely known for only two relatively short works, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and ‘Kubla Khan’. While […]

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email

OED appeals: can you help us find earlier evidence of the word ‘email’?

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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Murray frozen

Did you know that James Murray… once had his beard frozen solid?

2015 marks the centenary of the death of James Murray, the first Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. Murray’s work as a lexicographer is well known, but there was a great deal more to him than lexicography. We are therefore marking the anniversary with an occasional series of articles highlighting other aspects of his life […]

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interjections

34 interjections you should be using

Perhaps the wildest of all the parts of speech, the interjection accounts for a fun swath of the English language, including curse words, expressions of joy, greetings, and even pseudo-magical incantations. Some of them you’ve probably heard before, but others will probably be new. Before you know it – bada bing! – we might be hearing these terms everywhere.

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