Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

How Do Words Get Into A Dictionary?


I subscribe to the Oxford Dictionary Pro but their free online edition of the Oxford Dictionary is good, too.

Naturally, the dictionary is managed by the University of Oxford—”It is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and the second-oldest surviving university in the world.”

Oxford actually has 58 different services you can subscribe to

But back to the topic in the title—How Do Words Get Into A Dictionary?

The month of February saw these new entries in the Oxford Dictionary (go here for the article in their blog):

appletini
Baggy Green
biosimilar
blootered
braggadocious
burrata
cane corso
cruft
dumbphone
feature-complete
flexitarian
FOSS
friend zone
hump day
metabolic syndrome
omnium
range anxiety
schlumpy
sillage
social sharing
SSD
touchless
tray bake
tweetable
upcharge
voluntourism

So, how many of those entries did you already know?

Did you take any of the links to check out Oxford’s definitions?

Here’s a link to a .pdf flow-chart of how a word or phrase gets into their dictionary

And, if you don’t happen to be able to access that .pdf (which can be saved to your desktop) try this link :-)
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5 responses to “How Do Words Get Into A Dictionary?

  1. Jane Watson March 7, 2013 at 2:39 am

    Well I sure knew *Baggy Green* – an Australian term, folks, so I have to reproduce some of it here:
    “a green cap worn by Australian Test cricketers, traditionally awarded to mark a player’s first appearance for the team:
    …he first donned the Baggy Green in the 1984 Boxing Day Test against the West Indies.
    Australians do not like losers, especially when they are wearing the treasured Baggy Green…”

    Apart from sport, we are not very braggadocious, and would never dream of drinking an appletini…that would really make you a Flexitarian loser…;-)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai March 7, 2013 at 7:56 am

      Whoot !! :-)

      Like

  2. John Paul Mahofski March 7, 2013 at 7:50 am

    I see an opportunity to poke fun at scholars, expect a pdf flow chart of how words really make the cut!!

    Like

    • John Paul Mahofski March 7, 2013 at 7:52 am

      I’ve used appletini in a microfiction perhaps I made it happen.

      Like

      • Alexander M Zoltai March 7, 2013 at 7:58 am

        Well, we’ll be sending a team of scholars our to your library, John, to check on your claim

        Like

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