What’s new

January 2018 update

More than 1,100 new words, senses, and subentries have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary in our latest update, including northern flicker, hazzled, and electric catfish.

This quarter sees the inclusion of long-established terms such as me time, more recent coinages including hangry and mansplaining, and words which have seen a shift in sense, such as snowflake. You can read more about the new and revised words and meanings in this article by Katherine Connor Martin, Head of US Dictionaries.

In our release notes this January, Edmund Weiner, Deputy Chief Editor of the OED, investigates the mysterious use of ‘sun scalds’ in Rudyard Kipling’s novel, Captains Courageous, here, and OED Associate Editor, Peter Gilliver, explores how sensationalist writing came to be known as ‘yellow journalism’ in this article.

Senior Editor, Matthew Bladen, delves into Greek mythology, taking on Titan in this article, which also reveals the amazing history of titch.

Whilst titch itself is not a new addition, nine months on from our Mumsnet appeal, the OED welcomes terms related to pregnancy and parenting to its pages. Read about Senior Editor of the OED, Fi Mooring’s, exploration of words such as baby-led weaning, diaper cake, and the alarmingly evocative poonami here.

See a full list of new words, subentries, and senses added in this update.

The OED publishes four updates a year. The next update will be added to the dictionary in April 2018.

The OED Appeals

The OED Appeals is a major new online initiative involving the public in tracing the history of English words. Using a dedicated community space on the OED website, editors are soliciting help in unearthing new information about the history and usage of English, including the earliest examples of particular words. The website enables the public to post evidence in direct response to OED editors online, fostering a collective effort to record the English language and find the true roots of our vocabulary.

Find out more about the OED Appeals
Video: An introduction to the OED Appeals
Read a history of the OED’s Appeals to the public

Articles on OED Online

Windows on to words: dive into the OED!
Shapers of English: Tania Styles looks at place names in the OED.
English in time: Eleanor Maier explores how the ‘buster’ suffix has become ubiquitous.
English in use: Penny Silva writes about South African English.
More English in use: Richard Shapiro examines whether Indian cardinal numbers are the most distinctive counting system in English.
Word stories: Denny Hilton on The ‘auto-’ age.
Word of the Day: Sign up to Word of the Day or follow OED Online on Follow oedonline on Twitter.


Video shorts: a series of videos now live examines how the OED is produced behind the scenes: