Oxford Dictionary

A Deep Dive Into Uranus Jokes

Uranus, it has been pointed out, has long been the butt of jokes. As an initiation for those unfamiliar with the genre, I offer the ne plus ultra of …

Astronomy

Halfhearted and half-hearted

<b>Halfhearted</b> and <b>half-hearted</b> are two spellings of the same word. They are both compound words, which are two separate words that are joined together. …

Grammar

sonnettomania, n. : Oxford English Dictionary

1821 <i>New Monthly Mag.</i> <b>1</b> 644 Nothing..is on record as a specific for the sonnettomania.<p>1870 H. Brown <i>Sonnets of Shakespeare Solved</i> 241 Shakespeare …

Language

What two little words that combine virtue signalling and denunciation?

Mind Your Language on ‘call out’<p>The inventor of the verse form known as the clerihew, Edmund Clerihew Bentley, had a way with this seemingly simple vehicle. Take this example: ‘Sir Christopher Wren / Said, ‘I am going to dine with some men. / If anybody calls / Say I am designing St Paul’s.’<p>My …

Language

poorwill, n. : Oxford English Dictionary

1862 <i>Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc.</i> <b>12</b> 157 Antrostomus Nuttalli, Cassin. Poor-will... Though rarely seen, this bird seems to be distributed throughout the …

Language

35 Brilliant and Interesting Words to Add to Your Vocabulary

Besides the complexity of speech, we are still creating new words. In the first three months of 2015, there were about 500 new words in the Oxford …

Language

Six Reasons to Hire Your Audience: The Benefits of UGC

User-generated content (UGC) is as old as content itself. Simply put, we've always wanted to chime in—from the Oxford English Dictionary, which was …

Digital Marketing

How To Pronounce Quinoa Without Sounding Like An Idiot

There are over 100 varieties of it, but only one way to pronounce it.<p>November 15, 2017<p>Quinoa is a nutty seed that originates from the Andes Mountains …

Quinoa

Just Google It: A Short History of a Newfound Verb

A brand reaches its apotheosis when it slips into the vernacular as a generic noun—Band-Aid, Kleenex, even Dumpster. Anyone else’s dad still say …

Google

astrogate, v. : Oxford English Dictionary

1941 R. Heinlein in <i>Astounding Sci.-fiction</i> Oct. 138/2 My Chief Engineer assures me that the Main Converter could be started, but we have no one …

Worth their salt: words and phrases with roots in ‘salt’

Who do you have to buy condiments from at the dining table? <i>The salt cellar.</i><p>Now, admittedly that joke is better spoken than written – if your sides …

Language

libertarianism, n. : Oxford English Dictionary

<b>a.</b> Esp. in political contexts: advocacy of, support for, or exercise of liberty.<p>1897 <i>Liberty</i> May 4/2 Individual Anarchism proposing to substitute for …

Libertarianism

The difference between ‘old’ and ‘venerable’

<b>President Trump was incensed.</b> “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘<i>old</i>,’” he tweeted, “when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’”<p>Why …

Columbia University

footery, adj. : Oxford English Dictionary

1929 P. O'Donnell <i>Adrigoole</i> iii. 23 An empty, foothery nature of a useless man.<p>1930 <i>Hamilton Advertiser</i> 8 Feb. Maybe folk are jist as anxious to hear …

Language

The Queen is not ‘one of us’

When Republicans like myself mouth off against the Windsors, we always add the caveat ‘But the Queen’s different!’ What we mean is that among a menagerie of malingerers – her mother left behind £7million in debts when she died; her sister, a sottish snob who crippled herself during a miscalculation …

Royal Family

The Unsteadiness of 'Drank' and 'Drunk'

Perhaps you have, at some point, found yourself saying "I have drank..." or "I had drank...." Pretty reasonable. Or maybe you’ve used <i>drunk</i> rather …

Etymology

A new origin for ‘reefer’?

When different words with similar sounds cross paths in a word’s history, the work of etymology can be difficult. For example, the verb hang has …

Language

ging, n.2 : Oxford English Dictionary

1903 <i>Bulletin (Sydney)</i> 17 Dec. 35/1 He had in his pocket a ‘ging’ with a shop-made wire prong, a ‘ging’ of marvellous power and deadly accuracy.<p>1933 …

Language

Anatomy 101: Obscure Words for Body Parts

<b>:</b> face<p>This charming synonym of <i>face</i> packs a punch:<p>The real Truth is, any one would guess him to have been a seven Years Apprentice to the Prince of …

Etymology

aegritude, n. : Oxford English Dictionary

<i>a</i>1400 tr. Lanfranc <i>Sci. Cirurgie</i> (Ashm.) (1894–1988) 240 (<i>MED</i>) [The] egritudines of yȝen, ouþer passioun & anothami.<p>1532 King Henry VIII in Bp. G. …

What does ‘collusion’ really mean?

<b>There was no “collusion,”</b> President Trump has been saying for months, and for months the word “collusion” has been among the most frequent lookups in …

Columbia University

In Alan Bennett’s Diaries, Life’s Pleasures Alongside Civic Outrage

A partial list of the charges Alan Bennett brings against himself in “Keeping On Keeping On,” a collection of his diaries: He is dull. He is lazy. He is “shy, furtive, prurient.” He has varicose veins. He ruined his civil partnership ceremony. He is excessively modest.<p>On Oct. 18, 2005, he noted: …

Books

money tree, n. : Oxford English Dictionary

<b>1.</b> Any of various shrubs, small trees, or other plants associated with money or good financial luck, or with leaves resembling coins; <i>esp.</i> <i>(a)</i> <i>Eng.</i> …

Plants

21 words that might be making you look dumb at work

So you’re rushing to send out an end-of-day summary email to your boss, but instead of reading through it yourself and hunting for errors — or even …

Language

New Asterix Comic Uses “Omni-Shambles”…

The English translations of the Asterix comic books by<b> Anthea Bell</b> and <b>Derek Hockridge</b> have often been praised for their intelligence in rewriting …

Peter Capaldi

Woke-ing nine to five: the daily struggle to be a modern man

In the confusing moral maze of our troubled times, staying politically conscious is a full-time job. Samuel Fishwick charts his struggle to be a …

The Rock

Internet of things

The <b>Internet of things</b> is a term that is becoming more and more popular. We will examine the definition of the term the <i>Internet of things</i>, where it …

Internet of Things

Mondayitis, n. : Oxford English Dictionary

1908 <i>Weekly Advocate (Victoria, Texas)</i> 5 Sept. The shippers seem to have a very aggravated case of Mondayitis, as the big end of the receipts arrive …

Language

17 words everyone spells wrong

• <b>The Oxford English Dictionary has a collection of 2 billion words.</b>• <b><br>They discovered that there are 17 words misspelled far more often than others.</b>• <b><br>Some of these words are: receive, occurrence, and conscious.</b><p>You may have noticed that there are lots of dictionaries to choose from, both the old-fashioned …

Language

The history of 'tron'

If you grew up in the United States in the 1980s, chances are you'll remember riding the Gravitron at the local fair, or struggling to get past level …

TRON