thesaurus

5 things you can do with the Historical Thesaurus of the OED

The Historical Thesaurus of the OED is a unique resource charting the semantic development of the huge and varied vocabulary of English. It is the first comprehensive historical thesaurus ever produced for any language, and contains almost every word in English from Old English to the present day. With 800,000 words and meanings, in 235,000 entry categories, the […]

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Do gay people speak their own language? A linguistic look at Polari

Nellyarda, zhoosh the riah, titivate, schlumph your Vera down, and palare that omee for the bevvies because I’ve nanti dinarli. (Translation: Listen, style your hair, make yourself look pretty, drink up your gin, and talk to that man to get a drink because I’m skint). The words you’ve just read are Polari words. Polari encompasses […]

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Interview: Korean-American poet Rosanna Oh

In 2005, Congress declared January 13 Korean American Day, in commemoration of the 1903 arrival of 102 immigrants, among the very first Koreans to arrive in the US. Rosanna Oh, a young writer and Korean American, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2012 with an MFA in poetry. Her work has been featured in Unsplendid, Measure, […]

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Tweens, teens, and twentysomethings: a history of words for young people

In August 2010, the cover of the New York Times Magazine half-wondered, half-complained to the world, “Why are so many people in their 20s taking so long to grow up?” The article was a splashy survey of research being conducted by psychology professor Jeffrey Arnett into what he called “emerging adulthood”—better known as “your twenties.” […]

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Onolatry - Worship of the donkey or ass, onolatry has also come to refer in extended use to “excessive admiration for or devotion to foolishness or a foolish thing.”

Beyond basic idolatry: other forms of worship

Rejected by several of the world’s religions, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, idolatry refers to the practice of worshiping an image or representation of a god rather than the true god. Many are probably familiar with idolatry due to its inclusion in the Ten Commandments, which state that a believer should not make an image […]

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Liam Neeson stars in the upcoming film "Taken 3."

Taken 3 or Tak3n? Switching letters for numbers

The latest (and presumably last) installment of the Taken series, starring Liam Neeson, highlights an interesting trend in the language of media branding. Although the film’s title is officially Taken 3, the film has often been stylized in advertisements as Tak3n, with the ‘e’ replaced by a ‘3’. It’s worth noting, of course, that this […]

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Diddle for the middle: the language of darts

Darts in its current form was developed at the end of the 19th century and by the start of the 20th century it was a popular pub game, its success boosted by a 1908 court ruling that held that darts was a game of skill rather than chance and could therefore be played without breaking […]

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Video: what is the longest word in English?

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