Tag: Oxford English Corpus

auger_words beginning with n

Apron, adder, and other words that used to begin with ‘n’…

The words app and nap might rhyme, but to say they sound exactly the same is quite clearly wrong. Well, it is quite clearly wrong until you precede them with the indefinite article. There is nothing (apart from context) to distinguish an app from a nap in spoken English, unless you rather take your time […]

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selfie

Selfie – one year on

There can be few people who don’t know that a selfie is a photograph that you take of yourself, typically with your smartphone. The Editors at Oxford Dictionaries started tracking the word back in April 2012, at which time it was noted that there were 36 examples on the newspaper database Nexis ‘mainly in reference to […]

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Video: how do new words get added to Oxford Dictionaries?

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Football

Side-netting battlers and giant-killing tacklers: a football corpus

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular words relating to football… The football corpus These word clouds show terms taken from a football-focused sub-corpus of the Oxford English Corpus, which looks at the most common words used in reporting and other journalism about football. We’ve chosen to look particularly at words with […]

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Elicit vs. illicit: which one should it be?

Elicit vs. illicit

1. Such a question isn’t intended to elicit an answer. 2. VHF radio calls from the coastguard and other ships were illiciting no response. 3. He brazenly carried on an elicit affair with Bert’s wife. 4. She admitted to having been in possession of illicit drugs. 5. You can imagine the amount of booing this […]

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Font of knowledge or fountain of knowledge (the latter depicted here)

‘Fount of knowledge’ or ‘font of knowledge’?

There are few things more likely to cause fierce argument between language-lovers than variant spellings of everyday expressions, especially if one is celebrated by language traditionalists and the other by the linguistic vanguard. You may remember the heated arguments that arose over the topic of pronouncing scone (some friendships have never truly recovered) – well, […]

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Searching finding

Ask a lexicographer

Every now and again, we like to share a few of the very interesting questions sent to us by fans of Oxford Dictionaries. Read on to see how our experts tackle texting, the Bible, and one very difficult name. Standard messaging rates apply Answer: For nouns ending in ‘s’ you would add ‘es’ to make them […]

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chocolate meaning

The meaning of ‘chocolate’ and other chocolate facts

You’re probably familiar with the many modern forms of choclate, but where did chocolate itself come from? Let’s have a look at that fact and others relating to the word ‘chocolate’, and how our favourite treat has contributed to the English language. 1. The meaning of ‘chocolate’ The English word ‘chocolate’ comes ultimately from the Nahuatl word chocolatl, […]

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