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Welcome to the Weekly Word Watch, another new series hot off the Oxford Dictionaries Online presses! Each post, we will be rounding up some of the compelling words that grabbed headlines, turned heads, or otherwise buzzed in the news over the past week across the English-speaking world. Whether big or small, everyday or unusual, these […]more
The English language, as spoken around the world, has several borrowings from languages native to India, including Hindi (‘dinghy’), Gujarati (‘bungalow’), Sanskrit (‘jungle’), among many other examples. Indian English, obviously, has even more of these types of terms. It also includes many formations of English words, as opposed to these loanwords. That means that Indian English […]more
When people think of world varieties of English and their contribution to the language, they tend to think in terms of unusual loanwords that conjure visions of exotic, faraway lands. Indeed, in countries such as India, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, where English is primarily used as a second or even third language alongside local […]more
This series investigates changes in lookups for words and their meanings across OxfordDictionaries.com. The graphs are based on website data collected over a four-week period, and the accompanying commentary explores how news and other current events have influenced these word trends and sudden peaks in interest. cwtch, noun While refereeing a Rugby Championships cup game […]more
‘I cannot endure a swell, even though his whiskers are pucka’. G. O. Trevelyan The Dawk Bungalow (1863) The word pukka enjoys an unusual status in Britain both as a current slang term and a dusty relic of the Raj. As a London slang term, pukka means first-rate or excellent. The word rose to prominence […]more
On April 13, 1796, an elephant set foot on American soil for the first time. Although accounts vary, this elephant has been identified with Old Bet, who became a national sensation as the main attraction of Hackaliah Bailey’s circus. Outside the Elephant Hotel in Somers, N.Y., built by Bailey and named after his star performer, […]more