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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

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

Yes yes! Pick me!

Save the Words. Do lost words still have meaning? Just because society has neglected them doesn't make them any less of a word. How do you get lost words back in the dictionary? With lexicographers scanning publications and other communication for words not currently housed in the dictionary, all you need do is use your adopted words as often as possible. Go, Adopt a Word. Like graocracy.* * - government by an old woman or women. [more inside]
posted by Tufa on Jan 29, 2009 - 37 comments

80 Million Tiny Images

A visualization of all the nouns in the English language arranged by semantic meaning. [NSFW words included!] [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jan 15, 2009 - 40 comments

Wordchamp: hover over a foreign-language word and get its definition

Wordchamp lets you view foreign-language web pages with definitions in your language as mouseovers (registration-only). [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 5, 2008 - 10 comments

From Anschluss to Zyklon B

The Dictionary of Coming to Terms with the Past (Wörterbuch der 'Vergangenheitsbewältigung') examines over 1,000 German words that have Nazi connotations, such as Endlösung (Final Solution) and Selektion, It is featured in a review by der Spiegel. Such loaded words still constitute a minefield for Germans today, as the Archbishop of Cologne discovered last year in a situation analogized to Senator Biden's use of the term "articulate" when referring to Senator Obama. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Feb 17, 2008 - 49 comments

ASL Videos

American Sign Language Flash Video Dictionary is a high quality, free dictionary with a huge number of signs. It includes specialized dictionaries of religious signs, conversational phrases, and ASL for babies. Unfortunately it's not possible to link to specific signs, but if you look inside you'll find words from "Abbreviate" to "Zoom" and phrases such as "I cannot fasten my belt," "has he been neutered?" "I already took a bath," "are you married?" and "I need a better firewall."
posted by alms on Jul 25, 2007 - 17 comments

Talkin' dictionaries at Google.

I know you people like words and language, and I know you like Google, so when I found a clip of Erin McKean giving a talk about dictionaries at Google, I thought "Normally, I wouldn't watch a 54-minute video of someone giving a talk, but this one was really interesting, and maybe my fellow MeFites will think the same thing." (Be sure and stick around for the Q&A session at the end; Google people, as you might expect, ask really interesting questions.) Erin McKean is not only the editor of The New Oxford American Dictionary, she's got a dressmaking blog. And if you don't feel like watching a video right now, here's a transcript of an hour-long online chat at Wordsmith.Org from a couple years ago. (Video link via Taccuino di traduzione.)
posted by languagehat on Feb 17, 2007 - 34 comments

The Singing Dictionary

Dictionaraoke. Your favorite songs, as performed by the audio pronunciation samples from online dictionaries.
posted by CunningLinguist on Sep 8, 2005 - 48 comments

Muckle bonnie wirds

Dictionary of the Scots Language. The two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language, the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) and the Scottish National Dictionary (SND), have been combined into one searchable online edition:
Thus, information on the earliest uses of Scots words can be presented alongside examples of the later development and, in some cases, current usage of the same words. In this way, we hope that the DSL will allow users to appreciate the continuity and historical development of the Scots language. By making the DSL freely available on the Internet, we also aim to widen access to the source dictionaries and to open up these rich lexicographic resources to anyone with an interest in Scots language and culture.

posted by languagehat on Apr 2, 2004 - 13 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

It's The Way You Quote Them:

It's The Way You Quote Them: Frosties is a cracking new collection of quotations from Ariga, expertly and eccentrically selected by one I.Frost, who defines himself as "friend, philosopher and jurist" . Unlike many online dictionaries, it includes generous helpings from its chosen authors; proper references; unexpected quotations (rather than the same old chestnuts) and, above all, personality. Bravo!
posted by MiguelCardoso on Sep 18, 2002 - 25 comments

The Glossarist is "a searchable directory of glossaries and topical dictionaries." Obvious enough. Topic areas are arranged in a Yahoo-like structure.
Now, go find out what all those obscure technical terms you've been wondering about mean.
posted by Su on Jun 2, 2002 - 5 comments

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