What do we call the world in which we live? The specifically Germanic noun “world” is perhaps the most puzzling word known in this area.
“He wondered if he were hallucinating.” I came across that use of the subjunctive while listening to the audiobook of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.
It is curious how often those who have tried to explain the origin of English idioms have referred to the occupation of printers. Regardless of their success, the attempts are worthy of note.
Innovations in open research can help to address disinformation, making a wider range of information accessible and available, ensuring reproducibility, and facilitating reuse.
We are one more week closer to Halloween, and pumpkins are ubiquitous. How did the pumpkin get its name?
Open research may be the route to surfacing a definitional framework for the monograph in SHAPE disciplines. Director of Open Access, Academic, at OUP Andy Redman explores why in this blog post:
As a mission-driven university press, we strongly support the opening up of research and the benefits for access and inclusion that OA brings. We want to ensure that the transition towards open research is an inclusive process—to use the title of OA week, “it matters how we open knowledge.”
How can a ghost (any ghost) get its name, and why is the etymology of bogymen, gremlins, goblins, and spooks usually unknown?
Why do breakdowns in research teams occur? Often, it is due to a failure by all the team members to communicate clearly, honestly, and respectfully about the goals of the team and each individual, as well as expectations and understanding of responsible research conduct.
A bit more is known about the origin of the words thaw and dew than about ice and snow. They are less impenetrable than those two, but they also contain riddles.
Winter is round the corner, and the best way to prepare for it is to read a few murky stories about the etymology of the relevant words: “ice” and “snow.”
When I was growing up, someone in authority told me that way to pronounce often was offen, like off with a little syllabic n at the end. Often was like soften, listen, and glisten, I was warned, with a silent t.
In this blog post, the Oxford Etymologist tackles questions from readers.
Why is searching for the origin of “ice” a forlorn hope? Because all the Germanic-speaking people had the same word for “ice,” and yet we don’t know where it came from.
In this blog post, the Oxford Etymologist discusses two slang idioms: “worth a Jew’s eye” and “to save one’s bacon”.
In this blog post, the Oxford Etymologist dives into the lexicographical history of two puzzling English homonyms: “mother” and “haggard.”