Showing 1-8 of 8 entries tagged

etymology

Paperback writer

As the publication date approached for the paperback version of my history of the Oxford English Dictionary – now available from all good booksellers! – I found myself, perhaps inevitably…

‘Kaffir’

On looking at the OED’s revised entry for Kaffir, originally a noun but later also developing adjectival uses, perhaps the most striking aspect of the picture that emerges is the…

Release notes: Making sense of sense

Sense was published in the 1912 fascicle of the first edition of the OED (OED1). That means that it’s over a hundred years since an editor first grappled with the…

Release notes: the Long Knife

If you meet someone carrying a long knife, you take notice. Drastic and possibly unprovoked violence enters your mind. The native North Americans noticed that the white settlers of Virginia…

Release notes: etymology summaries

From December 2015 onwards, we have begun adding some new material at the beginning of the etymology section for each OED entry. This comprises a short statement of the etymological…

The OED in two minutes

Modern English includes words from a wide variety of different sources around the world. Patterns of word-borrowing over time reflect the changing demography of its speakers; cultural and economic influences…