blackadder

How accurate was the sitcom Blackadder?

Blackadder is a character from a BBC TV period sitcom series which ran from 1983 to 1989, also named Blackadder. Each of the four series was set in a different historical period: the Middle Ages, Elizabethan age, Restoration, and First World War. Rumours of a fifth series have recently resurfaced in an interview with Tony […]

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Portuguese2

What’s the difference between European and Brazilian Portuguese?

As a native Brazilian who has spent most of her life in Portugal, you could say my Portuguese is of the mid-Atlantic variety. So how do Brazilian and European Portuguese differ? Overall, there are far more similarities than differences between the two, but there are a few variations in terms of pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and […]

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The word manspreading was popularized by the MTA, although they they never officially used it.

Manspreading: how New York City’s MTA popularized a word without actually saying it

New York City, home of Oxford Dictionaries’ New York offices, has made numerous contributions to the English lexicon through the years, as disparate as knickerbocker and hip hop. One of Gotham’s most recent impacts was the popularization of manspreading, defined in the latest update of Oxford Dictionaries as ‘the practice whereby a man, especially one […]

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Video: bare or bear?

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nine worlds

Words from Nine Worlds – one year on

Oxford Dictionaries are always on the lookout for new language to consider for inclusion. Research is not restricted to printed material, but includes language used online (especially Usenet and Twitter) and by particular groups of speakers with specialist knowledge. In August 2014, while I was at the Nine Worlds convention, speaking about conlangs and generally enjoying […]

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buns

What does ‘bun’ mean to you?

A recent poll on OxfordDictionaries.com showed that 37% of our users would call a bread roll a bun, which makes it second only to roll as the most common way to say this. This is not, to me, what a bun would be, and so naively—with no concept of the can of worms I was […]

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baking

11 baking idioms to whet your appetite

The Great British Bake Off is now back on UK screens, and we thought it would be the perfect excuse to spend a post writing about phrases in English which use baking in them. Shockingly, it turns out that we love slipping cakes into everyday conversation – there are a lot of them! 1. To […]

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literature class

12 pronunciations to help you avoid embarrassment in literature class

As the school year picks back up again, so do your odds of having to say out loud a word in class that you’ve only ever seen on paper. Don’t worry: we’ve all been there before. That’s why we’re here to help with this list of 12 words whose pronunciation might trip you up. Obviously, […]

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