quotations quiz large

Oxford Dictionary of Quotations Quiz

The updated edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations includes many new quotations from influential, amusing, and pithy people across time. We’ve decided to test you with a few of the new entries… can you fill in the gaps?

Read more »

Selfie – one year on

There can be few people who don’t know that a selfie is a photograph that you take of yourself, typically with your smartphone. The Editors at Oxford Dictionaries started tracking the word back in April 2012, at which time it was noted that there were 36 examples on the newspaper database Nexis ‘mainly in reference to […]

Read more »

Bow-wow, tyke, and cur: names for dogs

Read more »
election terminology

Which words did you look up this election season?

As the fervor surrounding the US midterms winds down and election fatigue settles in, we take one final look at the words that piqued your interest this week. The above chart shows the most popular terms related to elections, government, and politics on Oxforddictionaries.com 4 November (Election Day) and 5 November. The size of the […]

Learn More »

90th birthday of Latin Dictionary editor

Last week we celebrated the 90th birthday of Peter Glare, the consultant editor of the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources (DMLBS), with a party hosted by Oxford University Press attended by family and friends. Peter became editor of the Oxford Latin Dictionary (OLD) in 1954, and brought his immense linguistic acuteness to bear on the task that […]

Read more »

Hashing out the language of marijuana

Not unlike other much-discussed substances (see this previous entry on English’s many terms for being drunk), marijuana culture has gathered around it a rich linguistic history, including a rash of slang synonyms – pot, hash, weed, dope, grass, bud, reefer, ganja – not to mention its own specific lingo. With almost half the US states having passed […]

Read more »

How the saxophone got its name: an A-Z of instruments

6 November is World Saxophone Day, apparently. It’s the anniversary of the day the inventor was born – we’ll share his name a little later. We thought it was a good opportunity to produce an alphabet of interesting instrument names, from accordion to zither. As far as possible, we’ve tried to stick to common instruments […]

Read more »
political insults_edit

How to insult your political opponents like an American

In the run-up to today’s mid-term election, observers of American politics have lamented that the nation’s political landscape is more divided than ever. A Pew Research Center report released this year concluded that “Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines—and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive—than at any point in the last […]

Read more »