The Oxford English Dictionary, like the English language, is all about change

Samuel Johnson once said a dictionary should aim to “not form, but register” the language. Indeed, a dictionary should “not teach men how they should think,” he continued, “but relate how they have hitherto expressed their thoughts.” We tend to think of our dictionaries as tools of instruction; as books that set the standard, with [...]

By |2019-11-07T11:56:32+00:00November 7th, 2019|English language, OED, Oxford English Dictionary|0 Comments

OED looks for words used worldwide to reflect global nature of English

English has been spoken across the world for hundreds of years. And now the Oxford English Dictionary has launched a campaign to make sure its contents reflects the language's global nature. The dictionary is looking to expand its entries by including more words from Anglophone countries outside the UK. Eleanor Maier, associate editor of the [...]

By |2018-05-11T11:17:47+00:00May 11th, 2018|English language, OED|0 Comments

The Time the Oxford English Dictionary Forgot a Word

When the complete edition of what would become the Oxford English Dictionary debuted in 1928, it was lauded as a comprehensive collection of the English language, a glossary so vast—and so thorough—that no other reference book could ever exceed its detail or depth. In total, the project took seven decades to catalogue everything from A [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:27:05+00:00February 14th, 2018|Dictionary, Language, OED, Words|0 Comments

Democratizing the Oxford English Dictionary

The original Oxford English Dictionary, edited by the great lexicographer James Murray, was never meant to be a mere dictionary. Murray wanted to account for every sense of every word in standard English—an astonishingly ambitious aim, given the size and fluidity of the language. The OED’s originators, Murray observed in 1900, were seeking “not merely [...]

East Asian words make it into Oxford English Dictionary

Words most commonly heard on the streets of Hong Kong and Singapore such as “yum cha” and “wah” have been included in the Oxford English Dictionary’s latest update. The terms – a type of Chinese breakfast and an expression of delight, respectively – enter, along with phrases such as “dai pai dong”, “ang moh” and [...]

Manspreading: how New York City’s MTA popularized a word without actually saying it

New York City, home of Oxford Dictionaries’ New York offices, has made numerous contributions to the English lexicon through the years, as disparate as knickerbocker and hip hop. One of Gotham’s most recent impacts was the popularization of manspreading, defined in the latest update of Oxford Dictionaries as ‘the practice whereby a man, especially one [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:23:26+00:00September 12th, 2015|OED, Words|0 Comments

The top ten most unexpected words added to the online Oxford dictionary

The online Oxford dictionary has added 1,000 new words to its database. The latest additions have been announced, highlighting the things British people have been talking about in the summer of 2015, such as inconsiderate commuters, solidified waste and unacceptable service charges. Read more: The Telegraph

By |2018-02-22T00:23:29+00:00August 28th, 2015|New words, OED|0 Comments

The Oxford English Dictionary “Birth Word” Engine Helps You Discover The Word That Was Born When You Were

The Oxford English Dictionary created a "birthday word" engine, which tells you what words were "born," aka used for the first known time, in the same year as you. Because who doesn't want to celebrate their birthday alongside a word like "gobsmacked?" No one. That's who. Read more: Bustle

By |2015-08-16T23:46:59+00:00August 11th, 2015|Dictionaries and Lexicography, OED|0 Comments

‘Cisgender’ has been added to the OED

The compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary might have viewed it as just another word, but for people who have spent their lives fighting for the equal treatment of transgender people, it represents much more than that. The term “cisgender” has entered the pages of the historic dictionary for the first time, meaning that the [...]