Tag: Oxford English Dictionary

words that defined 2015 part two

From austerity to refugee: the words that defined 2015, part two

In late December, we took a look at satire, transgender, and other words that defined the first six months of 2015. Here’s the second and final part of our end-of-year roundup. austerity July The ongoing drama of the troubled Greek economy entered its final phase in the month of July this year when the governing […]

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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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Check out the etymology of evolution

The etymology of the word ‘evolution’

It is curious that, although the modern theory of evolution has its source in Charles Darwin’s great book On the Origin of Species (1859), the word evolution does not appear in the original text at all. In fact, Darwin seems deliberately to have avoided using the word evolution, preferring to refer to the process of […]

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Lord Byron in the OED

Lord Byron, one of Britain’s greatest poets, is quoted quite a few times in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED); we delved in to discover more about Byron’s innovative use of language. While all the words listed below existed in some form before they appeared in his writings, in each case his work provides the earliest known instance […]

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thesaurus

5 things you can do with the Historical Thesaurus of the OED

The Historical Thesaurus of the OED is a unique resource charting the semantic development of the huge and varied vocabulary of English. It is the first comprehensive historical thesaurus ever produced for any language, and contains almost every word in English from Old English to the present day. With 800,000 words and meanings, in 235,000 entry categories, the […]

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10 words that came to life 100 years ago

As 2014 draws to a close, we thought we’d take a look at some of the words celebrating their 100th birthday this year. While some of these may be antedated if older examples are found, the earliest evidence currently in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) for each of the words below is 1914. So, join […]

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A quick look at OED history.

Interactive OED map

This animation uses data from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to show how English has developed by borrowing or adapting words from different languages and regions of the world, from 1150 to the present day. These patterns of word-borrowing reflect the changing demographics of the English-speaking world; cultural and economic influences on Britain; the spread of […]

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G’day, bitcoin, and un-PC: notes on the OED update

Links to OED.com entries in this post have been made available for a limited period. The online Oxford English Dictionary, at OED.com, is a subscription site; you can read the OED help pages for information about subscribing or how to access the site via an institution or your local library. G’day. It seems like the […]

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