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]
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."
Please enjoy this smattering of Word of the Day sites and pages: OED
, The Free Dictionary
), Urban Dictionary
(RSS), NY Times Learning Network Blog
), Easy Speak (Toastmasters)
, Wiktionary "Foreign"
, all in OLDO
), and Sesame Street
(not daily, unfortunately).
You Must Be
: A tautological pickup line generator by Darius Kazemi (tinysubversions
The dictionary of the Global War on You
A first attempt to “rectify” American names in the era of the ascendant national -- morphing into global -- security state.
: Anything of yours the government takes possession of and classifies.
"In 1872 two men began work on a lexicon of words of Asian origin used by the British in India. Since its publication the 1,000-page dictionary has never been out of print and a new edition is due out next year. What accounts for its enduring appeal?
Hobson-Jobson is the dictionary's short and mysterious title.
" [more inside]
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
You too can sound like tedious Second Empire bourgeois making small talk if you follow Flaubert's Dictionary of Received Ideas!
A satrical collection of cant, cliche, and "expected" opinions of the French middle-classes around 1870 - List Of Entrees alphabetical
- List by subject.
An iOS application developer has come up with an extreme way of fighting software piracy—by auto-posting "confessions" to its users' Twitter accounts.
"...Enfour, the maker of a variety of dictionary apps, is auto-posting tweets to users' accounts to shame them for being pirates. But the auto-tweeting seems to be affecting a huge portion of its paid user base, not just those who actually stole the apps." Follow-up
. A personal account: Can’t spell “pirate” without “-irate”: on DRM and punishing the customer [more inside]
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).
Are you enthusiastic ("pertaining to possession by a deity," from Gk. enthousiastikos "inspired," from enthousiazein
) about Etymology? ( ethimolegia "facts of the origin and development of a word," from O.Fr. et(h)imologie (14c., Mod.Fr. étymologie), from L. etymologia, from Gk. etymologia, properly "study of the true sense (of a word),"
Then why not explore ( 1580s, "to investigate, examine," a back formation from exploration, or else from M.Fr. explorer (16c.), from L. explorare
) the vast resources (1610s, "means of supplying a want or deficiency," from Fr. resourse
) of the ONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARY [more inside]
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
The alphaDictionary Historical Dictionary of American Slang
presents a unique way for studying slang. It contains over 2200 slang words with the centuries in which they were first printed. The dates were taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, the Online Etymological Dictionary, or the earliest occurrences the editors can remember. [more inside]
The Lonely Planet
has come up with a list of thirty travel terms
that aren't in the dictionary.
"In Life, there are many hundreds of common experiences, feelings, situations and even objects which we all know and recognize, but for which no words exist.
On the other hand, the world is littered with thousands of spare words which spend their time doing nothing but loafing about on signposts pointing at places.
Our job, as we see it, is to get these words down off the signposts and into the mouths of babes and sucklings and so on, where they can start earning their keep in everyday conversation and make a more positive contribution to society. " -- Douglas Adams
, on The Meaning of Liff
. And because it's Adams, there are some internet pages for your enjoyment. [more inside]
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]
There are symbols from Asia
symbols. Symbols from Freemasonry
, and Native Americans
. Explore the Symbol Dictionary
“The flapper movement is not a craze, but something that will stay,” the author maintained. “Many of the phrases now employed by members of this order will eventually find a way into common usage and be accepted as good English.” [more inside]
If you brave the flash interface, there is so much to find.
Critical Dictionary has photography, ideas, and very strange music. [more inside]
is a unique online speaking dictionary that offers clear pronunciations of English words
, slang terms
, technical terms
, brand names
, proper names
, and many foreign words
, including common variations
. Astoundingly, the sound files are not computer-generated
-- every single one of the site's 138,152 entries
are enunciated in the dignified tones of British academic and polyglot Tim Bowyer
, who has steadily expanded its glossary
over the years using logs of unsuccessful searches and direct user suggestions. The site is part of Bowyer's Fonetiks.org family of language sites
, and is also available as a browser extension
and as a mobile app for iPhone/iPod
A Dictionary of the Near Future:
"The thing about the future is that it never feels the way we thought it would. New sensations require new terms; [here] are a few such terms to encapsulate our present moment." [more inside]
Climate change and the vuvuzela leave mark on Oxford Dictionary of English.
Other words and phrases introduced for the latest edition include 'toxic debt', 'staycation', 'cheesebal' and 'national treasure'. To balance them out among the 2,000 or so new items there are a few more left-field choices.
Among them are 'cheeseball', which refers to someone or something lacking taste, style or originality, and the more disturbing phenomenon of 'hikikomori', the Japanese word for the acute social withdrawal that occurs in some teenage boys.
n. disorientation when you step outside a movie theater into unexpected darkness, a twinge of jet lag from two hours of escapist fun which only diverts you from making the sequel to your youth—an old cult classic with wild shifts in tone, dropped subplots, major characters that appear out of nowhere only to vanish without explanation, and an ambiguous ending—but this time, it’s personal.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
Now that the Canadian Oxford Dictionary
hasn't published an edition since the 2nd in 2004
, there's a challenger to the much-desired title of standard dictionary of Canadian English: ladies and gentlemen, the 1st edition of the Collins Canadian Dictionary
. There's even a short-story contest
to promote it: in your 1,000 words you have to include at least 10 from the dictionary
is a rhyming dictionary that compares words based on their sounds, making it ideal for finding near-rhymes.
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]
- for those times when you want a web-based dictionary you can search with regular expressions.
I had this concept--after a strange dream, while scoping out the I Dreamed I Saw st. Augustine
tab in my just-in-case-it-disappears downloaded dylanchords
, of ...St. Augustine
as a slow moody slide in Open D ala Blind Texas Marlin. But then I got to wondering whether someone might have a chord dictionary online where a few variations on a first position B Minor
in Open D might be found. Voila! Achtung, Baby! Behold Brian's huge chordlist collection
. Oh, man, he's got your standard and open tunings on guitar plus mandolin, uke, banjos, bouzouki, pipa and lute. A living room guitarist's must have, no doubt, although a few more open tunings for pipa would have been nice... [more inside]
Merriam-Webster's Ask the Editors blog
is the centerpiece of the Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
site. It is an excellent source of sensible advice about English language and usage. Editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski also has a Twitter feed
where he highlights various interesting things about words. Finally, Merriam-Webster has started producing Ask the Editor videos
, four so far, where they've tackled the subjects of i before e
, classical roots
, affect vs. effect
and how news stories affect what words people look up online, in this case focusing on the effect of the coverage of Michael Jackson's death
. Incidentally, Merriam-Webster have released their top ten words of 2009
list, which is based on what words people looked up.
It's never easy
to talk about sex. It all depends on your definition
Tip of My Tongue:
Find that word you've been thinking about all day but just can't seem to remember.
- An ongoing project devoted to discovering all the words
and everything about them. [via]
The 50 words that generate the most click-throughs to the dictionary from the New York Times.
The Nieman Journalism Lab
reveals the words that sent NYT readers running to the Merriam-Webster. Key fact: Maureen Dowd is overly fond of the word "louche." If the post is TL;DR for you, here's the list in Wordle.
My First Dictionary
50s schoolbook style drawings and definitions, with a twist.
is an AJAXy online Japanese-English dictionary. The list of matches auto-updates as you type. You can enter (or paste in) romaji, Kanji or kana, and use character maps for hiragana and katakana. Results can be bookmarked
. [more inside]
Save the Words. Do lost words still have meaning?
st because society has neglected them doesn't make them any less of a word. How do you get lost words back in the dictionary?
s scanning publications and other communication for words not curre
ntly housed in the dictionar
y, all yo
u need do is use your adopted words as often as possible. G
* - government by an old woman or women
. [more inside]
The Photographic Dictionary
defines words through the personal meaning found in each picture. M
is for mask
is for ephemeral
is for twin
if for alone
Ever wonder what a quocker-wodger
was? Just what did they mean when they said that you were all kippers and curtains? Worldwidewords.org
has the answer. "More than 1600 pages on the origins, history, evolution and idiosyncrasies of the English language worldwide." Word geeks, say goodbye to the rest of your afternoon.
The Times Online
: Dictionary compilers at Collins have decided that the word list for the forthcoming edition of its largest volume is embrangled with words so obscure that they are linguistic recrement. Such words, they say, must be exuviated abstergently to make room for modern additions that will act as a roborant for the book. [more inside]
The Dartmouth College Library hosts a Simple Book Repair Manual
, which teaches you how to repair common problems such as torn pages
and wet books
. For more complicated procedures, the Alaska State Library put together a training manual,
with illustrations of repair procedures. (Full PDF
here.) There is also a book conservation dictionary
hosted by the Stanford conservation department, which explains many of the terms used.
lets you view foreign-language web pages with definitions in your language as mouseovers (registration-only). [more inside]