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?

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selfie

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 […]

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

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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 […]

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ballons

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 […]

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marijuana

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 […]

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Our A-Z list of instruments

An A-Z list of instruments

Check out our alphabetic list of instruments, from accordion to zither. As far as possible, we’ve tried to stick to common instruments you’ll already have heard of – but some of the letters proved more challenging… Accordion Accordion is from the German Akkordion, a derivative of Akkord ‘harmony’, and so named because some of the buttons on […]

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What are you preferred political insults?

What are the most common American political insults?

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 […]

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