writing competition

Join our Word of the Day writing competition!

The days are getting colder, and everyone is slowly retreating to the cosy comfort of their homes. What better opportunity, then, to make good use of the quietness and solitude of the season by getting pen and paper (or a computer) out to write? OxfordWords is calling all aspiring authors out there to take part […]

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G’day, bitcoin, and un-PC: notes on the OED update

Links to OED.com entries in this post have been made available for a limited period. The online Oxford English Dictionary, at OED.com, is a subscription site; you can read the OED help pages for information about subscribing or how to access the site via an institution or your local library. G’day. It seems like the […]

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Interesting words - the word squirrel comes from the Greek skiouros, meaning 'shadow-tail'

9 interesting word facts you didn’t know

The English language has a varied and ever changing vocabulary, which makes it an ideal candidate for etymological studies. In this list below, we take a look at the interesting histories of some common English words. For more interesting word facts and origins, browse our ‘Explore’ section and follow us on Twitter. 1. squirrel 2. awkward The adjective awkward is […]

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Psy's music video for his song "Gangnam Style" topped 2.15 quintillion views in early December, forcing YouTube engineers to change the upper limit of the view counter.

Psy, YouTube, and quintillion: “Gangnam Style” and gargantuan numbers

In early December 2014, South Korean musician Psy’s music video for his song “Gangnam Style” exceeded YouTube’s upper view limit, having accumulated over 2,147,483,647 views; more than the view counter had been set to track. The video’s success spurred engineers at YouTube to reset the counter with a new upper limit of 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, or more […]

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Video: what rhymes with orange?

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8 phrases that come from Exodus

The film Exodus, directed by Ridley Scott and released this month, is part of a continuing trend of depicting the Bible on screen. Noah was released earlier in 2014, and Christian scripture has long provided material for the silver screen – from The Passion of the Christ and The Ten Commandments to (more tangentially) Monty Python’s […]

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WordWatch roundup: pleb, indict, Thanksgiving trends, and more

One of the most-discussed news stories in the US during 2014 has been the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri on 9 August 2014. The shooting immediately became a key issue in the national discussion on issues of race and inequality. On 24 November 2014, the county grand jury decided not to indict Wilson for the shooting, sparking a wave of protests and civil unrest across the country.

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Quiz: how well do you know our new words?

This month’s update saw a host of new words and senses enter OxfordDictionaries.com, with the internet and popular culture being once again a strong influence on the way people talk and write (lolcat, digital footprint). But now it’s time for YOU to prove that you’re up to date with current word trends! Take our new […]

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