chess

The language of chess

Although the game itself may be viewed as the domain of grandmasters, child geniuses, and computer boffins, the language of chess has infiltrated everyday parlance in a number of ways. Any game or debate that ends in a draw may be said to have resulted in a stalemate, while check can refer to any form of […]

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money coins

How did bread, cheese, and dough come to mean money?

Back in the day, the hip-hop duo OutKast released a song called “Aquemini” that goes: Street scholars that’s majoring in culinary arts, you know, how to work the bread, cheese, and dough from scratch This is a little André wordplay, talking about hustlers out to earn their pay. When I heard this and clocked the […]

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Oxford Dictionaries update quiz

Quiz: which new word is best for you?

After the recent update to OxfordDictionaries.com, you may have encountered many new words and wondered how best to go about incorporating them into everyday speech. Which ones to choose? Well, to amuse and entertain, we’ve put together a quiz to help you pick which new word is best for you. You can choose whether you […]

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Video: how do new words get added to Oxford Dictionaries?

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new words

Beyond the dictionary: the stories behind some of Oxford’s latest additions

cray The word cray, shortened for crazy, seems to have arisen in the early 2000s. It originally appeared in the reduplicated form cray cray, which appeared on Urban Dictionary as early as 2002. By the end of the decade, cray cray had been widely adopted in the language of the American blogosphere, as in this […]

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wordcloud

Adorbs new words added to OxfordDictionaries.com – WDYT?

We don’t mean to humblebrag, but the August update to OxfordDictionaries.com is bare good and nailed on to interest and impress you. Throw an air punch or have a bro hug (don’t be cray and throw shade or show us the side-eye); be a baller and join the hyperconnected vocabulary fandom and read on to […]

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geekfest

Finding geeky words at Nine Worlds

Catherine Sangster is head of pronunciation for Oxford Dictionaries. This week she went to Nine Worlds Geekfest 2014 to talk about conlangs, host a dictionary corner, and generally get her geek on. Nine Worlds is a London-based event which embraces a broad spectrum of geekery and makes a particular effort to bring groups which are […]

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bangarang

Word in the news: bangarang

You may have heard the word bangarang in the tribute paid to Robin Williams by US President Barack Obama, after the sad news of Williams’ death yesterday, and wondered what it means. Barack Obama said that “Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, […]

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