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"not far short of 50% have come into the language from French or Latin."

Borrowed words in English: tracing the changing patterns [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 4, 2014 - 2 comments

Oxford University Press Celebrates National Library Week

In honor of National Library Week, Oxford University Press is making all of its non-journal products available online for free for the week of April 13th-19th, 2014. This includes the Oxford English Dictionary and the Oxford Handbook series. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Apr 14, 2014 - 20 comments

Future of the OED

The new chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary discusses its future. "My idea about dictionaries is that, in a way, their time has come. People need filters much more than they did in the past."
posted by anothermug on Jan 26, 2014 - 50 comments

Words of the Day

Please enjoy this smattering of Word of the Day sites and pages: OED (RSS), Wordsmith (RSS), Wordnik, The Free Dictionary (RSS), Merriam-Webster (RSS), WordThink (RSS), Urban Dictionary (RSS), Macmillan (RSS), NY Times Learning Network Blog (RSS), Scrabble, Wordsmyth (RSS), Easy Speak (Toastmasters), Wiktionary, Wiktionary "Foreign", OLDO (RSS: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, all in OLDO), Arabic (RSS), Japanese (RSS), Nahuatl, ASL, History, Geology, Theology (RSS), and Sesame Street (not daily, unfortunately).
posted by cog_nate on Dec 13, 2013 - 11 comments

Shall e’er revirginize that brow’s abuse

51 words in the Oxford English Dictionary, including couchward, extemporize, fringy, revirginize and chappelled have quotes from the same source, a mysterious book published in 1852 called Meanderings of Memory, written and published by Nightlark, a "well-known connoisseur". There are only two evidences of the book's existence. If you happen to have a copy of Meanderings of Memory sitting on your shelf, please contact the OED [previous OED mystery].
posted by elgilito on May 10, 2013 - 43 comments

PURGE: verb: to make free of something unwanted

An eminent former editor of the Oxford English Dictionary covertly deleted thousands of words because of their foreign origins and bizarrely blamed previous editors, according to claims in a book published this week.
posted by Chrysostom on Nov 29, 2012 - 24 comments

YOLO with it

Oxford Dictionaries' 2012 words of the year have been chosen: for the US, it's "gif" (as a verb); for the UK, "omnishambles." It contended for this crown with the likes of "YOLO," "superstorm," and "nomophobia." Previous Oxford words of the year can be found here (other notable year-end word lists such as those from Merriam-Webster, the American Dialect Society, and the Global Language Monitor, have yet to appear).
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Nov 12, 2012 - 92 comments

OED appeals to professors and madmen

Has anyone seen a blue-arsed fly? Someone must have cooties. This is no FAQ, can you make a make a defining contribution to the OED?
posted by stbalbach on Oct 8, 2012 - 5 comments

supercilious daiquiri

Who wants to be in a spelling bee? Tricky and difficult are neither, but fiendish is a way to spend too much time. It does have quite a few words adopted into English, but everyone should know how to spell burrito.
posted by freshwater on Mar 20, 2012 - 57 comments

Words of the last 100 years

Dave Wilton of wordorigins.org (prev) has been compiling etymological snapshots for each year of the past 100 years, based on words that first appeared in English that year. As of now, he is up to 1941. The 1911 entry gives a good overview of his goals and parameters. (via) [more inside]
posted by kmz on Nov 10, 2011 - 9 comments

Dictionary of oldest written language finally completed after 90 years.

90 years in the making, the 21-volume Chicago Assyrian Dictionary is finally complete. The full set is $1995, or free PDF downloads. If you can wait a little longer, the Chicago Hittite Dictionary will be complete in 2045 (begun in 1975), while the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary has no completion date. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jun 12, 2011 - 26 comments

Water bariccades gladdly received

Queen's English 50c: A translation service for English-speaking 50cent fans.
posted by Dr Dracator on Sep 8, 2010 - 62 comments

I like big books and I cannot lie -- or maybe I don't.

The third edition of the OED will not come out in print -- or will it?
posted by angrycat on Aug 30, 2010 - 75 comments

:—

The Secret History of Typography in the Oxford English Dictionary. Although sadly not about font design or kerning, Nick Martens' exploration in the OED is still pretty interesting. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on Jan 21, 2010 - 28 comments

'What words say does not last. The words last. Because words are always the same, and what they say is never the same.'

The Phrontistery presents A Compendium of Lost Words
posted by anastasiav on Jul 1, 2006 - 14 comments

Head-butt

Give me a Glasgow kiss! The OED's newest English words. Glasgow kiss, n. [ Glasgow, the name of a city in west central Scotland + KISS n., in humorous allusion to the reputation for violence accorded to some parts of the city. Cf. earlier Liverpool kiss s.v. LIVERPOOL n.] A head-butt.
posted by mfoight on Jun 10, 2004 - 19 comments

OED new words

F-word now a word, as well as : twelve-incher, sheepshagger, and old man of the woods! The newest real English words now in the OED.
posted by mfoight on Mar 22, 2004 - 10 comments

OED DECEMBER 2003

Fuckwit, superwaif, infoholic, and blamestorming! The December 2003 quarterly update of the Oxford English Dictionary now available. (Scroll to the bottom of the list for the naughty new words). So what's your fav newly "authorized" word?
posted by mfoight on Dec 15, 2003 - 20 comments

necial to Nipissing

New Words! New Words! The OED's quarterly update is up. You can now officially use: 800 number, anime, first person, incentivize, ish, JPEG, Klingon, Kwanzaa and xeriscape, plus a whole mess of words between "necial to Nipissing."
posted by jengod on Sep 11, 2003 - 31 comments

Bitch Slap (noun) enters the mainstream...

Bitch Slap (noun), buggeration (noun), and trash-talking (noun) are now in the OED. The latest quarterly update of the Oxford English Dictionary is now available. (Scroll to the bottom of the list for the most shocking and transgressive new words).
posted by mfoight on Jun 17, 2003 - 22 comments

Words fail me.

"Bling Bling" has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. To be classified as a noun, pronounced "B to the Izz-L...."
posted by XQUZYPHYR on May 1, 2003 - 27 comments

New OED Words

Dungeons and Dragons, bigorexia, arse-licker, bass-ackward... The online OED (Oxford English Dictionary) quarterly adds a host of new words to the canon of what has become the standard dictionary of the english language(s). Some of the new and spicey words are: arsehole, arseholed, arse-lick,arse-licker, ass-backward, ass-backwards, bass-ackward, bass-ackwards, dragon lady, Dungeons and Dragons, telenovela, and transgenderist!! Thank the gods of language for these new words! So what is you favorite new word and why?
posted by mfoight on Mar 17, 2003 - 26 comments

A Menagerie of Animals

Oxford's guide to collective terms for animals is a useful and fascinating although all-too-brief resource. Collective terms for birds are some of my favourites: an unkindness of ravens; a murmuration of starlings; a richness of martens. Bees and sheep seem to have a lot of collective terms. I can't imagine why. Altogether, though, I found one of the terms for for ferrets to be the pick of the bunch.
posted by nthdegx on Jan 13, 2003 - 34 comments

Jedi (n) and Klingon (n)

Jedi (n) and Klingon (n) will now be listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. As will Ass-Backward. Given MetaFilter's interest in grammar this seems worth noting. How the editors decided that "Jedi" is worth inclusion but "Stormtrooper" is not is a conversation I would have loved to have heard. Naturally, people complaining about such inclusions ain't new. However, when words are removed from the same dictionary it's hardly noticed. Clearly unused words go away, so why do people make a stink about this year after year? Slow news cycles? Or is it an extension of the Prescriptivist - Descriptivist Argument with the Prescripts making a push for the "hearts and minds" of the public?
posted by herc on Sep 26, 2002 - 35 comments

Uber-dictionary!

Uber-dictionary! If you're a student and get your access through a university, there's a fairly good chance the university subscribes to the Oxford English Dictionary online. Which means you get the OED too! regardless, it's 100x the dictionary m-w is.
posted by clockwork on Oct 18, 2001 - 23 comments

So you read the "Madman and the Professor"

So you read the "Madman and the Professor" and thought it interesting. Edward Ruloff is another murdering philologist with the extra cachet that his 1871 trial for killing a dry-goods clerk was one of the first to test the admissability of photographs as evidence. The Supreme Court agreed with lower rulings that they could be allowed; Ruloff was hanged. In 1845, he had been accused of murdering his wife and child and was imprisoned for ten years for the abduction of his wife, but without a corpus delecti, he could not be convicted for the murder of his child. This man is writing a biography of Ruloff; a publisher could do a lot worse.
posted by Mo Nickels on Sep 26, 2001 - 3 comments

"Doh!"

"Doh!" added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Homer Simpson is the man.
posted by danwalker on Jun 14, 2001 - 45 comments

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