Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins

Front Cover
Julia Cresswell
Oxford University Press, 2021 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 504 pages
Newly updated to incorporate recent additions to the English language, the Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins provides a fascinating exploration of the origins and development of over 3,000 words in the English language. Drawing on Oxford's unrivalled dictionary research programme and language monitoring it brings to light the intriguing and often unusual stories of some of our most used words and phrases.

The A-Z entries include the first known use of the term along with examples, related lexes, and expressions which uncover the etymological composition of each word. Also featured are 22 special panels that give overviews of broad topic areas, 5 of which are completely new and that variously cover words from Oceania, word blends, eponyms, and acronyms. New findings in the OED since the previous edition have also been added, including emoji, mansplain, meeple, meme, and spam.

An absorbing resource for language students and enthusiasts, but also an intriguing read for any person interested in the development of the English language, and of language development in general. It also includes an extended introduction on the history of the English language.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2021)

Julia Cresswell Julia Cresswell is an experienced author and language researcher, having worked on the 4th edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Books to her credit include Naming Your Baby: The Definitive Dictionary of First Names, and The Cat's Pyjamas: The Penguin Book of Clichés.

Bibliographic information