There are 10 posts.
The first post of this series by OED Consultant Editor Henry Hitchings explored the origins of Halloween. In this second instalment, he takes a look at the connection between the supernatural and anarchic spirits of Halloween. You can read the article in full, here. For both its lovers and its critics, Halloween is strongly associated […]more
This is the first of a two-part series on Halloween by OED Consultant Editor Henry Hitchings. You can read the article in full, here. Halloween is an increasingly contentious occasion. Devotees claim that celebrating it is liberating and romantic – an opportunity to dress up and make merry. Yet critics complain that the festival is […]more
It’s the most terrifical time of year… As you work on making yourselves look appropriately petrifying, we’ve plundered the pages of the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary for some historical synonyms for ‘scary’. There are some wonders, from fleysome to formidolous, but here are our favourites. Buggish Buggish, meaning ‘causing or intended to […]more
You might not have pondered ‘ghost or cat’? to yourself all that often. Let’s be honest, usually it’s pretty obvious which it is – and usually it’s a cat. But we’ve taken a journey into the spookier side of the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary for different names for ghosts across time and around the […]more
Mischief Night – the night before Halloween, celebrated with practical jokes and (often to the dismay of the community) minor vandalism – goes by many names, including Goosey Night, Cabbage Night, Gate Night, and Devil’s Night. So what better way to recognize this evening of hijinks than with a list of mischief synonyms? 1. funny business […]more
As we all know, Halloween is really more about treats than tricks. The “tricking” half of the holiday has come to be celebrated by practical jokesters on a different date altogether–Mischief Night. Think you’re a master prankster? Take our quiz and find out!more