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History of Oxford English Dictionary

Introduction
History of Oxford English Dictionary
  • The Oxford English Dictionary is a English language dictionary published by the Oxford University Press.
  • It was first published in 1884.
  • The title "The Oxford English Dictionary" was used unofficially for the first time on the covers of the series in 1895.
  • In 1928, the full dictionary was republished in ten bound volumes. In 1933, twelve volumes with a one-volume supplement were reprinted.

Quite a tome!

Fact
Information

The second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary which was published in 1989 had 21,728 pages in 20 volumes.

How are words selected and added to the dictionary?

Criteria
How are words selected and added to the dictionary?
  • When it comes to choosing new words, the OED looks for words which have featured in news columns as well as fiction stories for at least 10 years.
  • OED uses Oxford Reading Corpus and the Oxford Reading Programme.
  • The Corpus analyzes words from documents on the world wide web while the reading programme extracts words from writings, song lyrics, popular fiction etc.

Do all words feature in all dictionaries?

Comparison
Do all words feature in all dictionaries?
  • Oxford and Merriam-Webster have entirely different and separate corpora and citation files and therefore they often differ as to when a word is first attested.
  • OED outsources way more lexicographic work than Merriam-Webster; Webster's lexicographers are mainly in-house or freelance but formerly in-house while OED uses many freelancers.
  • Their presentation styles of the entries are entirely different.

Oxford Dictionary adds new hindi words!

25 Apr 2004
Oxford Dictionary adds new hindi words!
  • After adding 'Angrez' and 'badmash', Oxford English dictionary was all set to add a host of new hindi words in its new edition.
  • The new words which were supposed to be added were Achha, Aloo, Yaar, Chuddi, Desi, Gora, Filmi and Jungli.
  • Jeremy Butterfield, editor-in-chief of the Collins dictionaries said that if Hindi words are used enough, they'll obviously end up in the dictionary.

Indian words secretly deleted by former editor

28 Nov 2012
Indian words secretly deleted by former editor
  • The Oxford English Dictionary analyzed the words which were secretly deleted by former editor Robert Burchfield.
  • Burchfield deleted words like 'balisaur'-a badger-like animal from India, 'Danchi'-a Bengali plant and 'boviander'-the name in British Guyana for a person of mixed race living on the river banks.
  • The revelation of several words being secretly deleted was made by Sarah Ogilvie in her book.

'Arrey yaar' added in Oxford Dictionary

1 Jul 2015
'Arrey yaar' added in Oxford Dictionary
  • Four new indian words have made their way to the Oxford English Dictionary this time.
  • The new words which were added in the new edition launched on 25 June are-arrey yaar, churidar, bhelpuri and dhaba.
  • The OED describes 'arrey' as 'express a range of emotions and commands, especially annoyance, surprise, or interest, or to attract someone's attention' and 'yaar' as 'friend, mate etc.'