Tag: new words

The Australian English phrase 'dry as a dead dingo’s donger' is used to convey extreme thirst.

Donkey-voters and dead dingo’s donger: a new edition of the Australian National Dictionary

A new edition of the Australian National Dictionary has just been published, updating the one-volume, 814 page 1988 edition, with 10,000 Australian words and meanings illustrated by 60,000 citations, to a two-volume, 1864 page work, with 16,000 Australian words and meanings illustrated by 123,000 citations. Read on to discover what has been added, and why. […]

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The compound ‘clickbait’ dates back to 1999 and signifies ‘content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to particular web page’.

These words will change the way you think of clickbait forever

It started with assistant professor Laura Seay, who mused in a tweet: ‘Thinking of changing the weekly headings on my syllabi to clickbait. “You won’t believe this one thing Britain & France did to Africa!” Seay continued riffing on the idea, and then it clicked: #ClickbaitSyllabus. Twitter quickly took to her hashtag, clever parodying the […]

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A unicorn is a start-up company valued at more than a billion dollars

Unicorns are real (but not what you think)

There has been a spate of unicorn sightings around the offices of Oxford Dictionaries recently. Don’t worry – we haven’t been overdoing it on the glitter and stardust. These unicorns come from the altogether more serious realm of finance. What is a 21st-century unicorn? In the world of big business, a unicorn is a start-up […]

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Katherine Martin is back at Nine Worlds this year, and she's returned with some interesting new word suggestions.

Geek dictionary corner at Nine Worlds 2016

Nine Worlds is an inclusive multi-genre convention for ‘books, films, TV shows, gaming, comics, cosplay, crafts, sciences, fanfic, and the culture and creativity that underlie them all’. This was the third summer that I have skipped along to join in: here are my dispatches from 2014 and 2015. Besides running an academic panel on foreign […]

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Words invented for existing concepts to distinguish them from something new are known as retronyms.

What are retronyms, and why do they exist?

One way that language changes is the coinage of terms to describe new versions of existing concepts or inventions, for example the compound electric guitar to differentiate the new invention from the existing type of guitar. However, with electric guitars becoming increasingly widespread, the word guitar no longer unambiguously described one that could be played […]

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The Brexit referendum in the UK has spawned a number of new portmanteaus.

From TEOTWAWKI to hoyay: words on the radar

Which words are our lexicographers looking carefully at right now? Well, all and any of them, of course – but there are some interesting words which are hovering on the peripheries of dictionary inclusion that we wanted to draw your attention to. Words aren’t included in Oxford Dictionaries until enough evidence of their sustained use […]

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Some words unique to Singapore have recently been included in the OED.

5 great words from Singapore English (now in the OED)

As an OED editor working mostly on words coming from world varieties of English, I am always fascinated by the research that goes into every dictionary entry, and what it tells me about the culture and history of English-speaking communities in different parts of the globe. Every once in a while, I also get the […]

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Unspun is a synonym for genuine or authentic.

Unspun, white knighting, and other words on our radar

2016 has so far been an exciting year for new words and phrases. Among the most recent additions to OxfordDictionaries.com are such colourful terms as phubbing (‘the practice of ignoring one’s companion or companions in order to pay attention to one’s phone or other mobile device’), dumpster fire (‘a chaotic or disastrously mishandled situation’), and […]

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