Thursday, January 04, 2007

OED Enlists British Public

The editors of the Oxford English Dictionary are once again taking it to the streets, asking the public for help in finding earlier usages of forty common (for Britain, at least) words and phrases. Results will be aired on the BBC show "Balderdash and Piffle" in a segment called "The Wordhunt". A similar segment met with some success last year.

OED chief editor John Simpson said of the effort "Wordhunters made some remarkable discoveries in the last series. They found wordhunt words tucked away in football fanzines, LPs, school newspapers - just the sort of sources we can't easily get our hands on."

The full list of sought words is here, and if you are inclined to hunt some words yourself, you can submit the evidence via email.