There are 7 posts.
Every year thousands of young people from across the UK pick up their pens to enter BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words story competition. For the past six years, the Oxford Dictionaries for Children team has collected and analysed all of the words used by young writers in the competition and our Children’s Word of the […]more
I imagine that few dog owners haven’t wondered, as they watched their pet sniff with profound absorption at a patch of grass, how a dog might explain the attractions of the olfactory world if he had the gift of speech. Do dogs translate smells into stories with a past and future tense? Could they teach […]more
Think you’re the cat’s whiskers – or even the dog’s bollocks – when it comes to knowing your animal idioms in British English? You’re probably right – so the next time you’re listening to your friend rabbiting on, why not try dropping one of the following common British expressions into your conversation? You’ll soon sound […]more
The history of man’s relationship with the domesticated carnivorous mammal Canis familiaris is a long and complex one, and is reflected in the language used across the centuries to describe the dog and its world. The word dog first occurs in Old English, but is less well-attested than the synonymous (and probably more formal and […]more
As their breed names often attest, dogs are a truly international bunch. Named for their places of origin and sometimes even their original breeders, dog breed names offer a fascinating look into how we relate to man’s best friend. Let’s take a look at 12 different dog breed names and their backstories. Akita This Japanese breed is […]more
In film and literature dogs are often shown as the protagonist’s companion through thick and thin. Dog owners will tell you that their pets are loyal and loving – yet the portrayal of dogs in many languages shows that man’s best friend is often regarded as lowly in status. You can read this earlier post about […]more
I love dogs. I think I was just born that way. Given that I’m part of a vast community of canophilists, it’s never made sense to me that dogs often feature in an unfavorable way in English. Every group in the animal kingdom is represented in at least a few phrases, idioms, allusions, and metaphors, […]more