Tag: OED

Man holding a light bulb

Look who’s Tolkien now: inventing languages

What are invented languages? How are they created? Do they have a place in the modern world? Invented languages have been used for hundreds of years, perhaps most famously in books and TV shows such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Conlang (a shortened form of constructed language) entered both Oxford Dictionaries and the Oxford English Dictionary […]

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back-formations

The hypocrisy of hating back-formations

Does the verb incent make you grind your teeth? Can you cope with enthuse? Does spectate rankle? There are plenty of purported language purists in the world with a professed distaste for back-formations; those who would much rather stick with provide with an incentive, express enthusiasm, and be a spectator. Do they have a point? […]

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Lexicographer Imogen Foxell illustrates the OED Word of the Day

Illustrating the OED Word of the Day

If you’ve subscribed to the Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Day, or seen it on Twitter, then you may have wondered what the words would look like. You’re not alone in this: Imogen Foxell, an illustrator and Senior Editor in Oxford Dictionaries, often turns her artistic skills to portraying the OED Word of the […]

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Samba School parade in Sambodromo.

12 essential words for the Brazilian carnival

The carnival in Rio de Janeiro kicks off on 5 February, so the next five days will once again see the Brazilian city playing host to seductive rhythms and scantily clad dancers. For this occasion, we’ve dived into the colourful vocabulary of the Brazilian carnival and came up with a list of words that we […]

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Child reading a book in a garden

Enid Blyton in the OED

Enid Blyton (1897 – 1968) was an English writer of children’s books published from 1922 until her death in 1968. Among her literary creations are Noddy, The Naughtiest Girl in the School, The Faraway Tree, school stories set at St Clare’s and Mallory Towers, and the adventure series featuring the Famous Five and the Secret […]

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National Hugging Day

14 ways to hug

Did you know that 21 January was National Hugging Day in the United States? It was created in 1986 and has spread to many other countries in the world – so we encourage you, if others don’t mind, to hug at least one person today. But what if you get tired of the word hug […]

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Granny chic, Mx, and the Bank of Mom and Dad: new words in the OED

Granny chic, Mx, and the Bank of Mom and Dad: new words in the OED

It’s December, and time for another quarterly update to the Oxford English Dictionary. Fully revised and expanded entries for major items like control, fire, lock, truth, and way and from elsewhere across the alphabet bring with them around 1,000 new entries, compounds, phrases, and senses. New words added in this quarter’s update stretch from the […]

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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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