Tag Archives: OED

Obscure English Words That Need to Make a Comeback


One of the first things you learn when studying language, particularly in a socio-cultural context, is that it refuses to be static. It ebbs and flows like the tide, allowing new words to rest upon the sandy shore, and reclaiming old ones, pulling them back to the shadowy depths. It is remarkably dynamic. It adapts(…)

Selfie: The 2013 Word of the Year!


The Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year is highly anticipated, creates much discussion, demonstrates the inventiveness and evolution of language, and the influences of politics, social media, and culture on our vocabulary. So without further ado, the award goes to (drum roll) … ‘selfie’! Yes, ‘selfie’ – a picture taken of yourself by yourself,(…)

Lost in Translation


  smoke a fag 1. Have a cigarette (British) 2. Kill a homosexual (American) As a New Zealander living in England I have come across many phrases and words that are misconstrued, cause confusion, and sometimes offense – the above example from the Urban Dictionary demonstrates just how easily some things can really get lost(…)

The Death of a Brand Name – Google It!


We are bombarded with marketing everywhere we go, and sometimes it is so effective that the product itself becomes a noun or a verb, often to the detriment of the company, but to the benefit of the competition – let’s check out some examples of this happening today. It’s not surprising the brand name Sellotape(…)