Tag: lexicography

Spine of the Oxford English Dictionary and the New English Dictionary

Women and the Oxford English Dictionary

On International Women’s Day, we shine the spotlight on 10 women without whom the OED would not be what it is today. Some are famous, some less so, but all made a vital and important contribution. 1. Charlotte Yonge (1823–1901) Novelist, perhaps best known today for The Heir of Redclyffe (1853). She also wrote an […]

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Street arrow two way. Does this provide a dilemma?

What is the origin of ‘dilemma’?

What’s a word for ‘the lesser of two evils’? As many American voters like to joke, it’s the choice for the next President of the United States (or even between party nominees at this point in the 2016 campaign). But for word nerds like me, it’s a dilemma – which, speaking of evil, can still […]

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dictionary examples

How are dictionary examples chosen?

We often receive queries about the example sentences on OxfordDictionaries.com. Some people assume that they are written by the lexicographers who produce the definitions, but in fact they are chosen from real-life examples collected on Oxford’s corpora—vast databases of text drawn from many publications, websites, and other sources. Oxford takes an evidence-based approach to lexicography, […]

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on fleek

Video: adding on fleek to Oxford Dictionaries

You might remember that on fleek was on the shortlist for Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015, and both fleek and on fleek were added to OxfordDictionaries.com last year, meaning ‘extremely good, attractive, or stylish’. It offers great examples of the challenges and opportunities for lexicographers looking at digital communication and new viral slang, as Oxford Dictionaries lexicographer Katherine […]

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james murray oed first page

5 facts you probably didn’t know about James Murray

2015 marks the centenary of the death of James Murray, the first Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. Murray’s work as a lexicographer is well known, but there was a great deal more to him than lexicography. We are therefore marking the anniversary with an occasional series of articles highlighting other aspects of his life […]

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murray children

Did you know that James Murray… had eleven children, all of whom helped in the compilation of the OED?

2015 marks the centenary of the death of James Murray, the first Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. Murray’s work as a lexicographer is well known, but there was a great deal more to him than lexicography. We are therefore marking the anniversary with an occasional series of articles highlighting other aspects of his life […]

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OED update notes

Words from all over the lot: notes on the OED update

It’s OED update time again, and as usual, we’ve got words from all over the lot for you, from a new-old sense of waterbuck (meaning an aquatic insect, possibly a pond-skater), recorded in a single thousand-year-old quotation, to a sense of waterball (‘a transparent inflatable sphere which can be propelled across water by a person […]

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lock-in

OED appeals: can you help us find earlier evidence of the term ‘lock-in’?

Can you help us? OED Appeals is a dedicated community space on the OED website where OED editors solicit help in unearthing new information about the history and usage of English. Part of the process of revising words and phrases for the OED involves searching for evidence of a word’s first recorded use in English, […]

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