Contribute to our latest appeals

Do you have an earlier record of a word which our editors are currently researching? Browse our latest appeals below and help us record the English language.

You can also find out more about the OED appeals and read about our previous appeals on the OED blog.

Contribute to our latest appeals

Do you have an earlier record of a word which our editors are currently researching? Browse our latest appeals below and help us record the English language.

You can also find out more about the OED appeals and read about our previous appeals on the OED blog.

to manage expectations earlier than 1972

When a business thinks that what its customers want is for some reason unrealistic or unachievable, it might decide that a prudent course of action is to ‘manage expectations’ […]

Posted by OED_Editor on 16 January 2013 14.25
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Comments: 3

gangster earlier than 1886

Stephen Goranson has provided verifiable evidence from 1884: an antedating of two years.

A ‘gangster’ is somebody who is part of a criminal gang. Despite such gangs having been around for a very long time, this word for an individual member […]

Posted by OED_Editor on 7 January 2013 9.25
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Comments: 7

party animal earlier than 1982

Hugooooo provided verifiable evidence from 1977.

When the ​OED ​added its entry for ​‘party animal’, meaning ‘an exuberant reveler’, in 2005, the earliest quotation we were able to include was from 1982, but we knew that the term could almost certainly […]

Posted by OED_Editor on 20 December 2012 20.22
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Comments: 15

blues and twos earlier than 1985

Slightly earlier evidence from 1985 was supplied by ‘hugooooo’ and ‘hb1616’.

‘Blues and twos’ is a British slang term referring to the blue flashing lights and two-tone siren of a police car or other emergency vehicle which is […]

Posted by OED_Editor on 13 December 2012 15.42
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Comments: 4

mochaccino earlier than 1971

‘Hugo’ provided verifiable evidence from 1963.

While researching the history of the word ​’mochaccino’​ ​for potential inclusion in the dictionary, ​OED ​editors were surprised that the earliest […]

Posted by OED_Editor on 7 December 2012 12.30
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Comments: 3

rock paper scissors earlier than 1954

Bryn supplied an example from 1947.

‘Rock paper scissors’ ​is the most common English name for this game of symbolic hand gestures, but according to the ​OED​’s current evidence, it isn’t the earliest one. Scissors paper stone (1932), […]

Posted by OED_Editor on 5 December 2012 14.16
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Comments: 8

SOCO earlier than 1977

Gary Phillips provided information that enabled us to find verifiable evidence from 1970.

​Now familiar from police procedurals and television crime dramas, the term ‘SOCO’ (scenes of the crime officer) originated in the jargon of Scotland Yard. The first example in ​OED’s ​entry is from […]

Posted by OED_Editor on 30 November 2012 10.28
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Comments: 3

easy-peasy earlier than 1976

Hugo provided verifiable evidence from 1966.

This colloquialism for ‘extremely easy’ was added to the dictionary in 2002. OED editors posted an appeal for earlier evidence in our print newsletter back then, and we haven’t given up. We’re…

Posted by OED_Editor on 28 November 2012 10.12
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Comments: 9

doorbuster earlier than 1917

OED editors are investigating the word ‘doorbuster’, referring to a special limited-time sale which is designed to draw in customers. The earliest evidence we have found thus far […]

Posted by OED_Editor on 20 November 2012 15.33
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Comments: 2

mani-pedi earlier than 1972

OED editors are researching the term ‘mani-pedi’, meaning ‘a beauty treatment comprising both a manicure and a pedicure’. This word has been commonly used throughout […]

Posted by OED_Editor on 15 November 2012 17.21
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Comments: 2