new chemical elements names
OxfordWords blog

How do new elements get named?


It is highly unusual for words to become the subject of avid discussion—and even of consideration by lexicographers—before…

Random questions

Have you ever wondered whether a penguin is a bird, or whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable? Here you'll find a collection of answers to interesting questions.

Weird and wonderful words

Learn new and unfamiliar words which you probably won’t need in everyday conversation or writing, but which are fun, interesting, and unusual.

Was the first computer ‘bug’ a real insect?

Find out how 'bug' came to mean 'an error in a computer program or system' and whether or not a real insect contributed to the origin of the term.

500 WORDS is back for 2016

Oxford Dictionaries for Children have teamed up with BBC Radio 2 to find the most talented young writers.

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What is the longest English word?

Explore the lengthiest words in English, and find out what the longest place name in Britain is.

pies and cakes in English idioms
OxfordWords blog

Pies and cakes in English idioms


It is assumed that the word pie came into English via Old French, from Latin pica ‘magpie’, which in turn is related to picus ‘green…

currying favour origin
OxfordWords blog

Where does the expression ‘currying favour’ come from?


Currying favour: this peculiar expression has a rather unexpected history. Our video gives you the facts. Find out more…