There are 8 posts.
Deliveroo might be making headlines with their creative avoidance of the word ‘employee’, but here at Oxford Dictionaries we know that inventing euphemisms (and dysphemisms) to refer to workers and their jobs is nothing new. Let’s take a look at some imaginative words for employees already in our dictionaries. Grunts and shiny bums Most people […]more
I imagine that few dog owners haven’t wondered, as they watched their pet sniff with profound absorption at a patch of grass, how a dog might explain the attractions of the olfactory world if he had the gift of speech. Do dogs translate smells into stories with a past and future tense? Could they teach […]more
Any Tom, Dick, or Harry can sign and seal a foil-embossed card and attach it to a heart-shaped box of chocolate, all addressed to a loved one for Valentine’s Day. But it takes someone truly versed in romantic delights to know the difference between an allumeuse and an amourette, a chocolatier and a ballotin, an […]more
As the New York researcher for the Oxford English Dictionary, I’ve been hailed as a hero (hipster poets love me), gotten the rock star reception (by research librarians), and been dismissed with derision, thought possibly to be deranged – this by college classmates at a recent reunion: rock-ribbed Wall Street sorts, who haven’t yet heeded […]more
Here on the OxfordWords blog we’re constantly awed and impressed by the breadth and depth of the English language. As this is a great week to be appreciative, we’ve asked some fellow language-lovers which word they’re most thankful for. From quark to quotidian, ych a fi to robot, here’s what they said: stillicide Of incredible […]more
Viral now has more meanings than it used to. In the twentieth century, you would only have encountered this word in the physiological context of diseases: Rabies is an acute viral infection that is extremely rare in the UK. A quarter of the residents had high levels of viral hepatitis. In the twenty-first century, most […]more